By Ronald Lusulire
Jas Mangat and his navigator Joseph Kamya cruised to victory at the third 2022 Shell V-Power Pearl of Africa Rally in Mukono in May.
His success came after a convincing start on day one that was much interrupted by rain. He won two of the three stages to go top.
On day two, he clung onto his top spot, despite failing to win any of the four stages.
He finished with a total time of 1:53:06.12 after seven stages, five minutes and five seconds ahead of the next competitor.
It was a deserved win for the ‘Pili Pili’crew, racing in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X, their first race of the year.
His last race in 2021 was a victory at the UMC Kassanda Sugar Rally and he will be hoping for better fortunes ahead.
He became the first Ugandan to win the Pearl of Africa Rally after Hassan Alwi in 2016.
And it is his second Pearl win, having won his first back in 2013, then driving with Kenya’s Gihan De Silver.
Mangat joins a small list of drivers to have won the Pearl Rally more than once, including Chipper Adams, Charlie Lubega, Riyaz Kurji and Manvir Singh Baryan.
Zambia’s Gomez Leroy and Rwanda’s Davite Giancarlo came second and third in that order to complete the podium places.
Ponsiano Lwakataka clocked 2:00:38:62 to finish fourth. It should be noted that despite finishing fourth, he won the UMC rallies in Mbarara in January and Jinja in March, thus extending his lead in the National Rally Championship.
However, Lwakataka who won Pearl Rally back in 2011 could have done better having finished day one in second place, just few seconds behind winner Mangat.
Focus for the NRC drivers now shift to UMC Rally due on July 8, before the SMC Rally between August 5-7, 2022.
- Jas Mangat/Joseph Kamya (Mitsubishi Hi Lancer Evo X) – 1:53:06.12.
- Gomes Leroy/Gomes Urshala (Ford Fiesta R5) – 1:58:11.27.
- Davite Giancarlo/Vindevogel (Mitsubishi Hi Lancer Evo X) –1:58:52.76.
- Ponsiano Lwakataka/Paul Musaazi (Subaru Impreza) – 2:00:38.62.
- Yasin Nasser/Ali Katumba (Subaru Impreza) – 2:09:09.70.