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2011 Uganda Press Releases

KCB PEARL OF AFRICA UGANDA RALLY – Sunday 17th July 2011 – 17h30

Burundian Alain Dethise navigated by Madagascar FSAM President Jimmy Rakotofriniga savoured his maiden FIA African Rally Championship (ARC) victory despite finishing third overall behind 2010 Rwanda Champion Christakis Fitidis and trailing Lwakataka by a massive 11.01 minutes margin.

Amiably referred to as “Mafu Mafu” by Ugandan spectators, two times Ugandan Champion Ponsiano Lwakataka was the surprise winner of the 2011 KCB Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally (POAUR).
And just like the KCB Safari Rally last month, the Ugandan tour proved quite unforgiving to foreigners with only two ARC finishers making it to the finish ramp at Oasis KCB Branch.

 The Madagascan crew of Fredrick Rakotomanaga and Adam Yachine settled for second in the continental series and 5th in the overall classification.  Susan Muwonge, the Ugandan “Super Lady” was named the best female driver when she romped home fourth overall in a day full of drama and gremlins.
But Lwakataka, who won back to back Uganda National Rally Championship (NRC) titles in 2005 and 2006, had his Pearl campaign effectively sewn up when event pace-setters Jas Mangat of Uganda and Zim oldie James Whyte retired on Leg2.
Recounting some of the tormenting moments he has had to contend with since the rally zoomed off on Friday, the Ugandan speed merchant, nevertheless, thanked God for his first ever Pearl of Africa victory.
"In fact, it has come as a big surprise to me because the way I started wasn't good. I didn't want to open the road so I took a penalty for that on Saturday. On leg 1A (spectator stage), I found myself in an unfamiliar 16th place and though the position was later overruled by stewards, such things really affected my driving. I have done my best- pushed my best and God has given me the victory," said Lwakataka.

Mangat had been the talk of town what with his new-found high-octane approach and had his Subaru Impreza N12 going at full blast in the first two days, but with just one stage to spare, he exited the rally at full pelt.  

Mangat’s game plan was to just take it easy on Sunday and get to the end but the rally gods proved otherwise.

“We were driving really safe as we didn’t have the front traction. We were just on rear drive and when we came round the corner, a pretty easy corner, we cut a bit to the right and hit an anthill,” Mangat expounded how he rolled at CS16 (Mbalala-Bibbo) stage.

This was incidentally the same spot where his compatriot Ronald Sebuguzi had rolled on Saturday.
Whyte was well on course for another ARC win until gear box gremlins forced him out in the 14th Competitive Section at Nakifuma 3.

His retirement was indeed Conrad Rautenbach’s delight.

With three more rallies in Rwanda, Tanzania and Madagascar and 75 points up for grabs, Rautenbach still leads the ARC table standings with 93points despite opting for VW Rally South Africa this weekend.

Mangat had fought a good fight but as the old adage goes “he had not survived to seep in it” with a whole 5minutes ahead of Lwakataka at the penultimate competitive section.

“This morning (Sunday) we felt a bit nervous because we have not led in a big rally like this one. But we felt pretty confident because we had a big lead at penultimate stage,” continued Mangat.

Whyte’s navigator Phil Archenoul looked rather dejected with their Ugandan tour.

“We are a bit sad because we were hoping for a bit of an advantage on Conrad. We were comfortably on the lead of Africa-but you know Jamie races not just for the championship-Jamie races to win and we were really going for that,” explained Archenoul.

As Leg 2 zoomed off at Hotel Africana in Kampala, Mangat enjoyed a 3minutes cushion but Whyte put his stuff together and was really flying in the morning run.

“We realized that Jas (Mangat) had a problem with the centre diff so we thought it was a chance of catching him. Unfortunately, that is what happens in rallying-the gods of rallying take over-but we are still going to Tanzania and we just don’t gonna give it up to Conrad,” explained Whyte.


1.Conrad RAUTENBACH (Zim) 93

2.James WHYTE  (Zim) 76

3. Alain Dethise (Bur) 25

1. Ponsiano Lwakataka/Musa Nsubuga (Subaru N8-UG) 2.05.42
2. Christakis Fitidis/Eric Maxime (Subaru N12-RWA) 2.14.45
3. Alain Dethise/R. Vander Veken (Subaru N11-BUR) 2.15.16
4. Susan Muwonge/Edmond Kyeyune (Subaru N10-UG) 2.16.52
5. Dr. Ashraf Ahmed/Daniel Ayebare (Subaru-UG) 2.17.28
6. Freddy Rakotomanga/Adam Yachine (Subaru N11-MAD) 2.20.25
7. Wycliff Bukenya/Frank Serugo (EVO9-UG) 2.21.00
8. Jagjit Singh Liddar/Joseph Kamya (VW Golf-UG) 2.32.28
9. Edson Mungeyereza/Ronald Luwangula (Subaru N10-UG) 2.34.53
10. Haji Sempebwa/Uarban Mulindwa (Subaru-UG) 2.37.22
11. Geoffrey Kiaga/ Paul Nsubuga (Subaru N10-UG) 2.37.26
12. Savtinder Singh Saini/Vimal Gajjar (Subaru N8-UG) 2.41.29
13. Ismail Ortega/John Achal (Toyota Levin) 2.50.34
14. Mansoor Sanya/Abdallah Nyombi (Subaru Impreza-UG) 2.58.05
15. Frank Lubowa/Francis Wamala (Subaru-UG) 3.10.04
16. John Burrows Lumu/Shafiq Senabulya (Subaru-UG) 3.37.21

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