Kenya's Karan Patel untouchable in Uganda as crews embark on season-opening ARC Pearl Rally

Kenya's Karan Patel untouchable in Uganda as crews embark on season-opening ARC Pearl Rally

Joel Omotto 22:00 - 11.05.2024

Kenya’s Karan Patel announced his intentions of claiming the ARC Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally with an impressive performance on the opening day.

Reigning African champion Karan Patel from Kenya showcased his dominance on the opening day of the ARC Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally, leaving spectators in awe with his exceptional performance.

Piloting a Skoda Fabia R5 and guided by his compatriot Tauseef Khan, Patel surged ahead of local favourite Jas Mangat by an impressive margin of +34.6 seconds after the first leg of Uganda's premier rally event.

Throughout the day, Patel demonstrated his skill and speed, winning all six speed tests held during the event. Despite challenges such as the cancellation of the opening SS1 due to safety concerns raised by the FIA Safety Delegate and the removal of SS8 due to earlier delays, Patel maintained his momentum.

Among the competitors, Kenyan youngster Hamza Anwar, nicknamed "Problem Child," made a notable impression on his debut in a Ford Fiesta R5. Despite being new to the R5 machinery, Anwar delighted Ugandan spectators with flashes of brilliance, showcasing his potential as a rising star in the rally scene.

In a thrilling showdown, Patel continued to outpace his rivals, beating Mangat by 8.7 seconds and Anwar by 35.7 seconds in the SS2 Tadoooba speed test. He further extended his lead by triumphing over Mangat in subsequent tests, showcasing his unwavering determination and skill behind the wheel.

The event, which attracted six drivers in the ARC category, saw Patel, Mangat, and Anwar emerge as the top contenders, with Patel maintaining an impressive lead throughout the day. Despite the absence of the Bandama Rallye, the opening round of the continental series proved to be a thrilling spectacle, with Patel's commanding performance setting the stage for an exciting season ahead.

As the ARC Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally continues to unfold, officials and participants alike expressed their gratitude for the successful organisation of the event.

James Akena, the Federation of Ugandan Clubs in Motorsports (FMU) President, commended the efforts of all involved in ensuring the event's success while emphasising the importance of balancing excitement and passion with safety measures.

“We are trying to do our best and as you can see there is a lot of passion, and the difficulty we are having is how to manage this excitement and passion while also maintaining a level of safety. This is my first ARC and so far, it’s going well,” said Akena.

With Patel's stellar performance on the first day setting the bar high, fans eagerly anticipate the remaining stages of the rally as the drivers vie for victory in one of Africa's most prestigious motorsport events.

Follow us on X (Twitter) for more updates.