The 2018 National Rally Champion could be crowned this weekend when the season comes to a close in Mbale.
After six rounds spread across the country, three drivers; Ronald Sebuguzi, Jas Mangat and Susan Muwonge all head into the finale with a chance of winning this year’s title.
The tides became even high for the trio following the Pearl Rally points review. After the FMU decision, Mangat claimed the lead with only five points ahead of Sebuguzi and 10 points more than Muwonge.
But before the weekend’s battle, lets take a look back at their contention in the previous six events.
Susan Muwonge/Edmond Kyeyune – Subaru N12
The former NRC champion, Susan Muwonge is among the few crews this season that have not gone on the DNF (Did Not Finish) list.
It is not by mistake that the ‘Super Lady’ is among the title contenders. Her consistency together with the convincing pace placed her well for the season.
Apart from the NRC2 – Jinja Rally were she finished out side the top ten, Muwonge centered her chase within the top five positions all through.
Three podium finishes; second in Hoima while third in both Mbarara and Fort Portal rallies. She came fifth in Masaka and fourth among nationals in the Pearl Rally.
Muwonge and co-driver Kyeyune must register their first win of the season which could come with their second NRC title.
Jas Mangat/JosephKamya – Mitsubishi Evo-X
Jas Mangat continued to prove that he is a force to reckon with.
Mangat remains a title contender even after only three finishes of the six events.
He has only participated in five events, with victories in Mbarara and Jinja rally, a second position in Pearl rally along with two DNFs in Masaka and Hoima. He missed the Fort Portal rally.
The Pili Pili rally driver is always odds on favourite to win an event given his pace, experience and the car. Only misfortunes have limited his chase.
For a fourth NRC title, Mangat must win in Mbale rally this weekend.
Ronald Sebuguzi/Leon Ssenyange – Mitsubishi Evo X
Sebuguzi started the season on a bad note with two consecutive DNFs in Mbarara and Jinja rally.
He eventually landed a second chance for this year’s title.
A win in Fort Portal and Pearl rally greatly elevated him to the title circle. A fourth position in Masaka and Hoima rally were equally important to keep him in the title contention.
Sebuguzi had a chance to seal the title in Hoima, only for mechanical issues to extend his bid to the wire in Mbale.
The Pearl rally points review changed Sebuguzi’s strategy from just aiming at second position to fighting for Mbale victory.
His stakes for the victory are almost the same with his two rivals. But his intent for the fourth NRC title will only be exhibited with victory this weekend.
Meanwhile, the pearl points decision heightens the title fight even more as Hassan Alwi also enters into the race but with a mathematical chance for the title.
Alwi and co-driver Enoch Olinga can only aim for a win and hope for the three crews to DNF in Mbale for them to secure a maiden NRC title.
The event will cover a total distance of 176.62km consisting of five stages on day one and four stages on the final day.