KAMPALA- The Subaru rally drivers at last have something to smile about this season in the National Rally Championship (NRC).
The euphoria came after the crew of Hassan Alwi and Joseph Kamya ended Mitsubishi’s domination that stretches to last November. They won the 2017 Mountain of the Moon Rally in Fort Portal on Sunday in a time of 01:30:46.
Alwi became the fourth different winner in as many events this season.
Omar Mayanja (Mbarara), Duncan Mubiru (Kabale) and Ronald Ssebuguzi (Kayunga) are the others.
It was double joy for Subaru as Alwi was joined on the ramp by the crew of Fred Wampamba and Paul Musaazi who brought home their Subaru Impreza second in a time of 01:35:06. Omar Mayanja/ Hussein Mukuye in Evo X completed the podium finish clocking 1:35:32.
“It was not an easy win as we encountered many problems. First the system which controls the centre deef got spoilt then from the third section (Rwenzori Tea) we had clutch a problem,” Alwi, who recorded his first finish of the season, observed.
His navigator Joseph Kamya thanked God who enabled them to finish. What a difference a day makes as no fewer than four Mitsubishi Evolution cars occupied the first four positions at the end of day one.
Wampamba was upbeat at the end of the event. “We are going to improve event by event; for now let us plot for the Pearl,” he said.
The husband and wife crew of Arthur and Noella Blick Jr were meanwhile delighted by seventh place. “I think the jinx is over. Since finishing 17th in Mbarara in January, we have not scored a single point,” the 2015 Shell Helix-sponsored national champion noted.
The rivalry between Ronald Ssebuguzi/ Leon Ssenyange and Duncan ‘Kikankane’ Mubiru/George Ssemakula evoked memories of past duels between of Ssebuguzi and Lwakataka. Rival fans celebrated the other driver’s exit. The crews of Ambrose Byona/ Derrick Lubambula , Musa Kabega/ Rogers Ssirwomu ( Evo IX) and Yusuf Bukenya/ Frank Sserugo, all in Evo IX cars, failed to finish.
In the end, despite going out after less than three kilometres of the event, Ssebuguzi remains top with 250 pts at the half way mark of the season, 75 ahead of Chistakis Fitidis and Wampamba. Fred Ssenkumba emerged winner of 2WD.
Only 20 drivers out of 34 managed to survive 275.46km over two days.