NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 30 – Reigning Uganda National Champion Yassin Nasser and co-driver Ali Katumba have signed up for the season-opening KCB Guru Nanak Rally with the noble objective to score points for the revived East African Rally Championship [EARC].
The prestigious Guru Nanak Rally will serve as the first round of the regional championship slated for Stony Athi on the weekend of February 8-9.
Having confirmed their sojourn to Kenya, Nasser and Katumba will thus miss the opening round of Uganda National Rally Championship (Mbarara Rally) scheduled for February 14.
The Moil Rally Team crew has prioritized the EARC ostensibly to pursue valuable points.
“We have decided to pull out of Mbarara Rally since we will have limited time for preparations. Logistics to Mbarara City will also be a mission impossible after our participation in Kenya,” explained navigator Katumba.
Katumba also added that the team will be running selected home events since focus will be on the EARC.
“The plan is to prepare excellently for Guru Nanak which is one of the most popular and oldest events on the Kenyan rally circuit,” Katumba said.
Nasser and Katumba emerged the winners of Uganda-National Rally Championship (NRC) 2019 after finishing first on MOSAC Kapeeka Rally late last year.
The East African Rally Championship will rev off in Kenya next week then head to Rwanda on May 16-17, Uganda on August 15-16, Tanzania on September 19-20 and Burundi on the weekend of October 17-18.
Drivers hoping to take part in the new regional series must meet the 80pc threshold of entering four events with the closing round in Burundi being mandatory.
According to KMSF General Manager Mwaura Njoroge entry fees for foreign crews entering any of the five EARC events will be waived in order to encourage and cut down on the visitors’ costs.
What’s more, the top three finishers of the EARC will be feted during the closing round in Burundi.
The East African Rally Championship is being revived after being defunct for a period spanning over a decade. Zimbabwe oldies Jamie Whyte and Phil Archenoul were the last to lay hands on the coveted before it got defunct.
The new regional series was formed with the support of Rwanda Automobile Club, Club Automobile du Burundi, Federation of Motorsports of Uganda (FMU), Kenya Motorsports Federation (KMSF) and Automobile Association of Tanzania (AA of Tanzania) respectively.