NAIROBI, Kenya, April 29- Last year’s Kenya Motorsports Personality of the Year Ben Muchemi will be the only Kenyan competing amongst 21 other rally drivers from the region for this weekend’s 13th edition of the 2010 Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally (POAUR).
Fresh from the recent 2010 KCB Safari Rally where he performed well, seasoned rally driver popularly known as “Baba Ciru” is ready and set for a bruising battle with some of the region’s top racing heavy weights.
Ben who finished 13th overall in the 2010 KCB Safari Rally will be navigated by Bob Kaugi in his Subaru Impreza in the three-day rally to be held from April 30th to May 2nd.
The Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally is one of the six rounds of the FIA sanctioned African Rally Championship.
The rally will cover the picturesque scenery of Uganda and will take competitors and fans to the central parts of the country, to the north of the capital, Kampala.
The total distance of the rally will be 700 kilometres, of which about 230 kilometres will be competitive.
There are a total of 20 Competitive Sections which will be re-run over the course of the rally, the longest of which will be 17 kilometres and the shortest 5 kilometres. The competitive sections will be run in groups of 2 or 3.
The rally will be flagged off by Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni and thereafter the cars will proceed to a Spectator Stage at the Royal Lubiri grounds near Kampala for a super spectator stage.
The stage which is approximately 4.6 kilometres in length will be looped in reverse seeding order. The famous circuit is located on the grounds of the King of Buganda, His Royal Highness Ronald M. Mutebi II’s official palace where spectators are expected to turn up in thousands.
The cars, after an overnight rest at the Hotel Africana, will head in the northern direction of Kampala, into the famous “Luwero Triangle” where a new route has been designed. The rally ends on Sunday.
KCB Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally clerk of course Stephen Byaruhanga has warned drivers of a very competitive event to be staged in Luwero District.
There will however be caution as last years KCB POAUR took the life of Ugandas rally ace Riyaz Kurji after his Subaru Impreza rolled several times at in a high speed accident while leading his home round of the African Rally Championship.
Former Uganda national champion Ponsiano Lwakataka will bear the burden of opening the way in the KCB Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally this weekend. Driving a Subaru impreza N8, Lwakataka will be navigated by Musa Nsubuga in car no 1.
The 2008 national champion will be pursued by African champion Jamie Whyte of Zimbabwe who also leads the 2010 continental championship and managed a third position in the recent KCB Safari Rally 2010.
Jas Mangat is fifth while 1999 African champion Charles Muhangi, returning to action after a two-year sabbatical, is sixth.
Top 10 provisional order of start
P. Lwakataka (Subaru N8)
J. Whyte (Subaru N10)
D. Giancarlo (Subaru N10)
R. Ssebuguzi (Mitsubishi Evo9)
J. Mangat (Subaru N12)
C. Muhangi (Subaru N 12)
C. Fitidis (Subaru N12)
N. Mutebi (Subaru N4)
S. Semujju (Subaru N10)
S. Muwonge (Subaru N10)