Kenyans Anwar, Patel top star-studded ARC Pearl Uganda Rally entry

Kenyans Anwar, Patel top star-studded ARC Pearl Uganda Rally entry

Joel Omotto 21:17 - 08.05.2024

Africa champion Karan Patel and Junior Africa winner Hamza Anwar will be among the big names gracing the Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally this weekend.

Reigning Africa Champion Karan Patel and Junior Africa champion Hamza Anwar will be among the star attractions at this year’s Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally scheduled for May 10-12.

The Kenyan duo are among the over 30 crews listed in this year’s event alongside 2022 winner Jas Mangat.

Both Patel and Anwar have unfinished business with the Pearl event and are both returning to the iconic Ugandan fixture after skipping the 2023 edition.

Anwar retired in the 2022 edition driving a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X while Karan settled for 10th after restarting the same event on Super Rally (SR)

Following the exclusion of Rallye Bandama of Ivory Coast, this year’s Pearl Rally will set the ball rolling for the 2024 FIA Africa Rally Championship (ARC) to be held in parts of Jinja, Eastern Uganda.

Both Patel and Anwar are yet to lay their hands on the coveted Pearl title but will be going for the title in their R5 machines.

KCB-sponsored Karan will be navigated by Tauseef Khan in a Skoda Fabia R5 while Anwar is partnering up with Adnan Din in a Ford Fiesta Rally5.

This year’s Pearl has attracted leading local heroes among them Ponsiano Lwakataka aka “Mafu Mafu”, Hassan Alwi and Musa Nsubuga in a Subaru Impreza, Nasser Mutebi and Steven Bunya in a Mitshubishi Lancer Evo IX and veteran Ronald Ssebuguzi aka Seb in a Ford Fiesta.

Kenyan navigator Shameer Yusuf will call the pace-notes for Uganda Abas SEBUNYA Behind the wheel of a Mitshubishi Lancer Evo X.

Newly-elected FMU president, Jimmy Akena said he anticipates an exciting event this year.

“Safety of crews and fans remains our major priority. Our target scope in this rally being an African Championship calendar opener, is to have a smooth and successfully run event,” Akena said.

The Pearl begins on Friday May 10 with free practice at Wairaka. The 6.00km stretch. Starts at 9am with the qualifying stage programmed to start at 10:07am.

At qualifying, leading ARC drivers will be tussling for the start order positions. Shakedown 1 will rev off at 12:00hrs, followed by the second session at 13:41hrs.

The final day on Sunday May 12, will feature a repeat run of Sura Mbaya and Macarena where the rally will be decided.

This year’s Pearl will conclude with the Closing Ceremony in Jinja at 13:00 hours, where fans can celebrate with the winners and enjoy a fantastic spectacle.

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