Exclusive: Inside Scoop on Africa’s Hottest Rally Showdown

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  • Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally: May 10-12
  • Karan Patel, Hamza Anwar: star attractions
  • Over 30 crews, including Jas Mangat.
  • Karan, Hamza return after 2023 absence.
  • Pearl Rally opens 2024 FIA ARC.
  • Karan, Hamza aim for Pearl title.
  • Local heroes join, including Ronald Ssebuguzi.

The upcoming Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally, slated for May 10–12, is set to feature reigning Africa Champion Karan Patel and Junior Africa Champion Hamza Anwar among its star attractions. Alongside them, more than 30 crews will participate in the event, including 2022 winner Ugandan Jas Mangat.

Both Karan and Hamza are returning to the iconic Ugandan fixture after missing out on the 2023 edition. In the 2022 event, Hamza retired while driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X, whereas Karan finished 10th after restarting the same event on Super Rally (SR).

With the exclusion of Rallye Bandama of Ivory Coast, this year’s Pearl Rally will mark the commencement of the 2024 FIA Africa Rally Championship (ARC) in parts of Jinja, Eastern Uganda.

Despite their previous attempts, neither Karan nor Hamza have clinched the coveted Pearl title. They will both compete for the title in their respective R5 machines. Karan, sponsored by KCB, will be navigating with Tauseef Khan in a Skoda Fabia R5, while Hamza will partner with Adnan Din in a Ford Fiesta Rally5.

Among the local heroes participating in this year’s Pearl are Ponsiano Lwakataka, Hassan Alwi, Musa Nsubuga, Nasser Mutebi, Steven Bunya, and veteran Ronald Ssebuguzi. Kenyan navigator Shameer Yusuf will provide pace-notes for Uganda’s Abas Sebunya, who will be driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X.

Jimmy Akena, the newly elected president of FMU, expressed anticipation for an exciting event this year, emphasizing the priority of safety for both crews and fans. As the opener of the African Championship calendar, the rally aims for a smooth and successful execution.

The rally kicks off on Friday morning, May 10, with free practice at Wairaka, featuring a 6.00km stretch. The action begins at 9:00 a.m., with the qualifying stage scheduled for 10:07 a.m. During qualifying, top ARC drivers will vie for the start order positions. Shakedown sessions will follow at 12:00 hrs and 13:41 hrs, respectively.

The final day, Sunday, May 12, will see a repeat run of Sura Mbaya and Macarena, where the rally’s outcome will be determined. The event will conclude with the Closing Ceremony in Jinja at 13:00 hours, offering fans the opportunity to celebrate with the winners and enjoy a memorable spectacle.

Vivo Energy continues partnership

Vivo Energy Uganda has announced its continued partnership as the title sponsor of the Shell V-Power Annual Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally, scheduled to take place from 10th to 12th May 2024 in Jinja.

The company, a marketer and distributor of Shell-branded fuels and lubricants in Uganda, has reaffirmed its commitment to the development of Ugandan motorsport by extending a sponsorship package worth sh300 million to the Federation of Motor Sports Uganda.

Johan Grobbelaar, the Managing Director of Vivo Energy Uganda, said this contribution underscores Vivo Energy’s dedication to nurturing talent, promoting safety, and fostering the growth of motorsport in Uganda.

“We are proud to once again be the title sponsor of the Shell V-Power Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally. Our long-standing partnership with Federation of Motorsport Uganda reflects our unwavering commitment to the motorsport community in Uganda. Through this sponsorship, we aim to support the dreams and aspirations of rally drivers and enthusiasts across the country,” he said.

Jimmy Akena, the President of the Federation of Motorsports Uganda, commended Vivo Energy Uganda’s continued dedication to the Shell V-Power Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally for over a decade. “We are thrilled to continue our partnership with Vivo Energy Uganda for the Shell V-Power Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally. Their unwavering support has been instrumental in the growth and success of motorsport in Uganda,” he said.

At the press event held at Vivo Energy offices, the company unveiled the latest addition to the Shell Uganda Rally team, renowned rally driver Jas Mangat.

ARC 2024 Calendar

 10 -12 MAY Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally (UGA)

 28 JUN Equator Rally (KEN-Postponed due to inclement weather)

 26 JUL Zambia International Rally (ZMB)

 23 AUG Rally of Tanzania ( TZA)

 20 SEP Rallye International du Burundi (BDI)

18 – 20 OCT Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally (RWA)

Pearl of Africa Rally Past Winners

1996Uganda Karim HirjiUganda Frank NekusaToyota Celica ST 185Run under FIA rules as the Great Lakes Rally, jointly with Club Automobile du Burundi
1997Uganda Chipper AdamsUganda Justin BeyendezaToyota SupraRun as the Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally – ARC Candidate event
1998Uganda Charles MuhangiUganda Steven ByaruhangaSubaru Impreza
1999Uganda Chipper AdamsUganda Justin BeyendezaToyota Supra
2000Uganda Charlie LubegaUganda Abed MusaMitsubishi Lancer Evo 4
2002South Africa Johnny GemmelSouth Africa Robert PaisleySubaru Impreza WRX
2003Uganda Charlie LubegaUganda Abed MusaMitsubishi Lancer Evo 4
2004Uganda Charlie LubegaUganda Abed MusaMitsubishi Lancer Evo 4
2005Uganda Riyaz KurjiUganda Sayed KadriSubaru Impreza N10
2006Kenya Riyaz KurjiKenya Sayed KadriSubaru Impreza N8Crew run under Kenyan Licence
2007Zimbabwe Conrad RautenbachZimbabwe Peter MarshSubaru Impreza N10
2008Zimbabwe Jamie WhyteZimbabwe Phil ArchenoulSubaru Impreza N10
2009Kenya Riyaz KurjiKenya Sayed KadriSubaru Impreza N8Prize granted posthumously
2010Zimbabwe Jamie WhyteZimbabwe Phil ArchenoulSubaru Impreza N10
2011Uganda Ponsiano LwakatakaUganda Musa NsubugaSubaru Impreza N8
2012Zambia Mohammed EssaZambia Greg SteadSubaru Impreza N12
2013Uganda Jas MangatKenya Gihan de SilvaMitsubishi Lancer Evo X
2014Kenya Rajbir RaiKenya Tim ChallenMitsubishi Lancer Evo X
2015Kenya Jaspreet Singh ChattheUnited Kingdom Craig ThorleyMitsubishi Lancer Evo X
2016Uganda Hassan AlwiUganda Enock OlingaSubaru Impreza STi N14
2017Kenya Manvir Singh BaryanUnited Kingdom Drew SturrockŠkoda Fabia R5
2018Kenya Manvir Singh BaryanUnited Kingdom Drew SturrockŠkoda Fabia R5
2019Kenya Manvir Singh BaryanUnited Kingdom Drew SturrockŠkoda Fabia R5
2020Cancelled due to COVID
2021Cancelled due to COVID
2022Uganda Jas MangatUganda Joseph KamyaMitsubishi Lancer Evo X

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