Pearl of Africa Rally

Nasser takes ARC lead after Pearl 2023 win

1. Yasin Nasser / Ali Katumba (Ford Fiesta R5) Rally2/ARC 2:40:41
2. Rio Smith / Riyaz Ismail (Subaru Impreza GVB) RC2/NR4/ARC 2:47:50
3. Jas Mangat / Joseph Kamya (Mitsubishi EvoX) RC2/R4/ARC 2:47:53
4. Innocent Bwamiki / Hamza Lwanga (Evo 9) RC2/ARC 3:41:26
ARC standing
1- Yasin Nasser 54 pts
2- Jas Mangat 42
3- Karen Patel 30
4- Rio Smith 24


Yasin Nasser/ Ali Katumba in Ford Fiesta R5 has taken over the lead of
the Africa Rally Championship (ARC) after winning the 24 th edition of
the Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally 2023 in a time of 2:40:41.
It was a sweet win for the Moil sponsored Rally crew after being given a
10 minutes penalty for missing the final competitive section Edwin
Kalule ( 24.61km) on Saturday (Day One) with a steering wheel problem.


“It was a challenging rally worth a smile at the end of the day, winning
the ARC and finishing as the third best local in the NRC,” Nasser said.
He added: We are now looking forward to Rally of Tanzania in July to
strengthen our top position in ARC.
Nasser finished second in the Equator Rally Kenya in March 2023.

Kenya driver Rio Smith driving with Riyaz Ismail in a Subaru Impreza
GVB was equally thrilled with his second place in a time of 2:47:50
which guaranteed him his first points in the ARC title race.
“It was an amazing experience moving from a 2wd to 4wd. We have
enjoyed ourselves to the position finish and picking our first ARC
points” Uganda has incredibly good technical roads that have
everything not forgetting the fans that attribute the win for their
motivation,” he said.
Jas Mangat/ Joseph Kamya in Mitsubishi Evo X like Nasser encountered
a torrid day one aftert penalized 20 minutes for missing two
competitive sections (Scoul 2- 18.45km and Edwin Kalule- 24.61km).
But Jas winner of last year’s event bounced back to finish third in a time
of 2:47:53, seven minutes behind the leader.
Mangat said: “It was crucial to battle to the last hour as his main focus
was to pick the vital points for Pearl and be ahead of Karen Patel before
round four Tanzania Rally in July.

Posted by Patrick

Kikankane finally Pearl Rally winner

Duncan Mubiru / Joseph Bongole (Ford Fiesta Proto)
Byron RUGOMOKA / Hakim Mawanda (Mitsubishi EvoX)
Yasin Nasser / Ali Katumba (Ford Fiesta R5)
Alwi Hassan/ Hussien Mukuye (Subaru N14)
Jas Mangat / Joseph Kamya (Mitsubishi Evo X)
Oascar Ntambi/ Muhammed Asuman (Toyota Alteza)
Ibrahim Lubega / Mustapha Kanakulya (Toyota Corolla Fx)
Umar Kakyama / Robert Katabalwa (Ford Fiesta) 3:16:34
Abasi Mayinja / Geofrey Sserwoga (Subaru N10) 3:16:46
Isaac Ssozi/ Jackson Sserwanga (Subaru Impreza)
Fred Kitaka/ Mildred Kibuuka (Subaru N10)
Mansoor Lubega/ Arthur Lugoloobi (Toyota Trueno)
Rashid Makumbi/ Yusuf Babu (Mitsubishi Evo X)
Mustapha Mukasa/ Lawrence Mwambazi (Subaru Impreza)

Muzamir Watolya/Kevin Lubambula (Subaru Impreza)
Peter Kalule/ John Bosco Musisi (Subaru XV)
Innocent Bwamika/ Hamza Lwanga (Mitsubishi Evo 9)
Nasser Mutebi/ Shakira Nabwami (Mitsubishi Evo 9)
Dauda Umar/ Steven Bunya (Mitsubishi Evo 6)
Nasser Ratib/ Gilbert Waluggyo (Toyota Corolla FX)
Edward Kirumira/ Gloria Nantongo (Toyota Corona)
Yasin Nasser – 198 pts
Duncan Mubiru 173
Byron Rugomoka 160
Hassan Alwi 113

At the eighth time of participation, Duncan ‘Kikankane’ Mubiru finally
becomes Shell v-Power Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally (POAUR) overall
winner. The Ford Fiesta Proto driver with Joseph Bongole finished the
two day event in as time of 2:30:54 over a minute ahead of Byron
Rugomoka / Hakim Mawanda (Mitsubishi EvoX) the reigning national
champion. Before his victory, his best finish in Pearl was third behind
Kenyan Jaspret Chatthe (Evo X) and Des Kananura (Subaru N14) in

The 2020/21 national rally champion said: “It’s a great pleasure and
excitement winning POAUR which comes with its challenge. This is just
the beginning of yet another exciting season. Good enough every one
tested the hardness of pearl and who ever finished is a victor.”
Kikankane, 49, is one of the driver with the largest rally fans followers
underlined his intention on day one moving into third position after
opening three sections ( 52.70km) behind Yasin Nasser/ Ali Katumba
(Ford Fiesta R5) and Jas Mangat/ Joseph Kamya (Evo X) respectively.
By end of Day, he was leading after the Nasser and Mangat
encountered mechanical problem. “Day two was all about
concentration to finish,” he elaborated.

Kikankane, first bust on the rally scene during the Pearl Rally in 2011
but failed to finish but following Pearl rally win and third place finish in
Mbarara Rally early this year, he moves into second place in NRC with
173pts 25 behind leader Nasser.

Rugomoka who made his Pearl Rally debut in 2017, has continued to
rise following his NRC triumph last season. Last year he finished 6 th and
his second place will boast his chances of retaining the NRC title. He is
third with 160 pts.

Nasser who finished third overall nine minutes behind Kikankane, is still
in running for both ARC and NRC title. He leads both championships
with 54 and 198 points respectively. Hassan Alwi winner of Pearl in
2016, came forth over 14 minutes behind the winner while Mangat last
year’s champions will have to wait for another year to record his thread
pearl win. The event which attracted 32 cars had a total of 494.21km of
which 205.27km spread over 12 competitive sections.

Posted by Patrick

Foreigners remain a threat in the Pearl Rally

Foreign crews who have won Pearl Rally
2002: Johnny Gemmel (South Africa) Subaru Impreza WRX

*2006: Riyaz Kurji Subaru Impreza N8
2007. Conrad Rautenbach (Zimbabwe) Subaru Impreza N10

2008: Jamie Whyte (Zimbabwe) Subaru Impreza N10
*2009: Kurji (Posthumous champion)
2010: Whyte (Zimbabwe) Subaru Impreza N10
2012: Mohammed Essa (Zambia) Subaru Impreza N12
2014: Rajbir Rai (Kenya) Mitsubishi Evo X
2015: Jaspreet Singh Chatthe (Kenya) Mitsubishi Evo X
2017: Manvir Baryan (Kenya) Skoda Fabia R5
2018: Manvir Skoda Fabia R5
2019: Manvir Skoda Fabia R5
*(driving under Kenya license)

Kurji is the only driver to win the Pearl Rally under two different licences. He won the 2005 edition under Uganda licence and the following year he switched to Kenya.


Kampala: Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally (POAUR) is one of the highlight on the Uganda Motorsport calendar. It runs both as a National Championship and a round of FIA Africa Rally Championship (ARC).
Since running as a candidate rally for the ARC in 1997, the event has attracted a number of foreign crews from Southern, East and Central Africa.
Eight foreign crews have triumphed in the 22 years of the event.
The 2002 edition of POAUR was graced by South Africa crew of Johnny Gemmel and Robert Paisley in a Subaru Impreza WRX fresh from winning the Rwanda Rally. The South Africa crew was also leading the ARC title race with 30 points ahead of Satwant Singh from Zambia the eight time Africa champion.
First foreign winner
Gemmel dominated the event winning in a time of 4:01:52, beating the Kenyan crew of Gen Edmund and Carter Williams (Evo VI) by over three minutes and Uganda crew of Emma Katto and Rwabogo Busingye (Toyota Celica GT-4) a further 12 minutes. The South African crew went on to win the ARC title that year.
Unique history and sad ending
Riyaz Kurji bust to the rally scene in 2003 finishing the Pearl in 5 th place in his Evo 7. The following year in the Safari Rally Kenya held in Mombasa along with his co-driver Sayed Kadri in Evo7 finished second behind Carl ‘flash’ Tundo in a Subaru. Kurji/Kadri were classified first in ARC.
Kurji is the only driver to win the Pearl Rally under two different licences. He won the 2005 driving under Uganda licence and the
following year he switched to Kenya and triumphed.

In 2009, Riyaz and Kadri were leading the event but hit a tree in Mityana area. Riyaz died on the spot and the event was stopped.
However he was granted posthumously win. It was a sad end to his short rallying career. Riyaz joined Charlie Lubega (at that time) as only drivers to win the event three times.

Zimbabwe domination
In 2003, a certain teenager Conrad Rautenbach/ Peter Marsh from Zimbabwe driving a Toyota Corolla Rsi, made maiden appearance in the POAUR finishing third behind Uganda legends Charlie Lubega/ Abed Musa (Evo 4) and Moses Lumala/ Cedric Buzabo (Toyota Celica) over 18 minutes behind the winner. He was 37 seconds ahead of Dipu
Ruparelia / Jerome Kasaija in Evo 4 who finished 4 th .
But the 18- year- old left the mark on the local rally scene and promised to be back. Four years later (2007) a more mature Rautenbach with Marsh were back once again to try to conquer the Pearl Rally in a Subaru Impreza N10.
The Zimbabwean won the event beating the Japanese crew of Miyoshi Hideakiâ/Ichino Hakaru in a Mitsubishi Evo9 by three minutes and 28 seconds. The same year he clichéd the African title.

In 2008, Jamie Whyte followed his fellow countryman in winning the Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally.
The highest Ugandan crew in the event was female driver Rose Lwakataka/ George Ssemakula in a Subaru Impreza finished seventh, 34 mins, 34 seconds behind Whyte.

Essa, Mangat tussle out

The 2012 Shell Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally was battle between the 23- year-old Zambian rally ace Mohammed Essa/ Greg Stead and Uganda’s Jas Mangat/Ravi Soni both in Subaru N12
Essa who led from start to finish singled out Mangat, whom he beat by three minutes, as the only driver who impressed him. At the end of day two, Mangat had closed within 41 seconds but the Zambian stepped up his pace on the third and final day to open up a two-minute gap.
The Zambian who went on to win the ARC title that year, became the 5 th foreigner to win POAUR.
Beginning of an era
The Kenyan took over the mantle winning the POAUR from 2014 -2019 being interrupted briefly by Uganda crew of Alwi Hassan/ Enock Olinga (Subaru N14) in the 2016 event.
Kenya crew of Rajbir Singh Rai/ Tim Challen driving a Mitsubishi EvoX made debut in a two day Shell V-Power Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally around the town of Ssemuto, 50km north of Kampala.
The 24-year-old, son of legendary two-time Kenya champion Sarbi Rai made a winning debut ahead of three other foreign crew. He won the event by a mare 2 seconds from Gary Chaynes of Ivory Coast. Omar Mayanja/ Leon Ssenyange (Evo V) were the highest local crew in 5 th position.
The crew of Jaspreet Singh Chatthe/ Craig Thorley took over the baton from Rai winning the 2015 event in Mitsubishi Evo X
On three previous occasion, Chatthe had not finished the V- Pearl of Africa Rally. In 2014, Chatthe was leading early on day two before he dropped out.

He came into the event having won in South Africa, Zambia and Rwanda and was leading the ARC race with 75 points. He only failed to finish in Tanzania Rally. He also won the Safari Kenya Rally.
By winning the Pearl Rally, Chatthe was crowned the 2015 FIA African Rally Champion. His nearest challenger Jassy Singh of Zambia, rolled his Subaru Impreza on CS7.
Hat-trick of wins
The years 2017—19 was all about Manvir Baryan/ Drew Sturrock and Skoda Fabia 1600 R5 making its maiden appearance on Uganda soil. The Skoda crew won the 2017 event bettering their 4th place finish they achieved in 2014. This was his second time to participate in the Pearl rally.
Manvir won eight of the 10 sections and beating second placed Christakis Fitidis by a margin of nine minutes and 51 seconds.
The Kenyan driver defended his crown in 2018 relegating Ronald Ssebuguzi/ Leon Ssenyange (Evo X) and Mangat/ Joseph Kamya to second and third respectively.
The following year (2019) was an easy win for Kenyan Manvir in Kayunga. He beat his nearest opponent Yassin Nasser/ Ali Katumba (Subaru) by over 13 minutes.
The win also completed a hat-trick for the Kenyan, becoming the first driver to win the event in consecutive years. He also achieved the same feat in the ARC title.
The foreigners remain the drivers to beat as the Shell V-Power Pearl of
Africa Uganda Rally takes place 5-7 May, 2023.

Posted by Patrick

Ntambi positive about his 2WD title defence

Oscar Ntamba 2WD drive defending National Rally Champion (NRC) is optimistic about defending his title, after securing
financial by KCB Uganda.
Ntambi assured his new sponsors success in the upcoming Shell V-Power Pearl of Africa Rally 5th-7th May, 2023.
Diana Komukama Ssempebwa bank’s head of marketing and Communications signed the contract with Ntambi on behalf of
the institution at headquarters in Kampala.
Ntambi, driving a Toyota Alteza joined rallying in 2019, during a sprint at Garuga double race track.
However, with covid-19 pandemic affecting sports globally, held him back until 2021 when he competed in the Clubman
Rally Championship (CRC) with two class victories registered.
The 2022 season was all celebration for Forest Rally Team crew, as they went out full throttle with several victories in their 2WD
classification, icing their efforts with a title at end.
“We are champions and Pearl Africa Rally 2WD class winners. We settling for no less a win again, “a confident Ntambi stated.
Ntambi added, since the weather conditions seem same as last year, they are fully set and prepared after being fired up
financially KCB bank Uganda.

“We have had upgrades on car( Toyota Alteza), just fitted new reigner dampers which gives us confidence for good results”
Ntambi outlined.

The Forest rally team is second crew sponsored by KCB bank in this year of Pearl of Africa rally ,away from Michael George
Mukula Junior, unlike last year when it sponsored one foreign crew of Karan Patel and Tauseef Khan in Ford Fiesta R5.

Posted by Patrick

East African Chains host POUAR Secretariat

The Federation of Motorsports Clubs of Uganda (FMU) is grateful for the East African Chains Ltd (EACL) for housing the
Shell V- Power Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally 2013 secretariat and stores.
This was revealed by Albert Ofong the Deputy Events Manager at a function held at the company’s offices 2 nd street Industrial
“The Partnership is growing each year and appealed to motorsport fraternity to get all the industrial machinery from
East African Chains Ltd,” the deputy events manager said. “We are looking forward to partnership in 2024.”
While welcoming the FMU team to their premises, Leah Kirabo, the project engineer said: “Over the year there has been a good
working relationship with FMU and hopes it continues.”
For his part, Andrew Akome, the Sales engineer said they are the leading suppliers of convey belts, lifting chains and heavy
duty machinery.
Vivo Energy are the title sponsors while KCB, Scoul, Source of the Nile Hotel (Jinja), Fire and Safety Appliance Ltd, Ruparelia
Group, Mubs (Jinja), Jinja Municipality, Uganda Railways and Uganda Police are co-sponsors.

Posted by Patrick

KCB in Rally Mode after UGX80m Sponsorship package for Pearl Rally

KCB (Uganda) have added value to the 24 th edition of the Vivo Energy Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally (POAUR) 2023 with a sponsorship package of Ugx80m. The event which is the third round of Africa Rally Championship (ARC) is set for 5-7 th May, 2023.
Diana Komukama Ssempebwa, the KCB (Uganda) Head Marketing and Communication Manager handed over the dummy cheque to Dipu Ruparelia, President Federation of Motorsports Club of Uganda (FMU).
She congratulated FMU for a successful organization of the Pearl Rally last year and hope this one will even be better.
“Am happy to announce that KCB is contributing to the Pearl of Africa Rally, one of most exciting and prestigious sports event on Africa calendar,” Head of Marketing said.
At the same function, Ruparelia thanked KCB for their continued support of the annual event and appreciated the partnership for all these years.
He said: “Motorsports is almost worshiped as a religion in Uganda. Many fans are spending monies planned specifically for the rally weekend. As always these the case, these resources are left within communities where rallies are held.”
Ruparelia emphasized that for now the FIA has removed the yellow card from the Pearl Rally. “Let’s not relax but we must do all it takes to keep improving more on safety.
Earlier, Hajji Omar Mayanja, the Clerk of the Course said everyone is in rally mode and looking forward to a very successful event. The COC also thanked KCB (Uganda) for their support.

The event will have a total of 498km of which 207km spread over 12 competitive sections over two days while liaison is 291km.
Vivo Energy who pumped in UGx180m are the main sponsors, Scoul, Source of the Nile Hotel (Jinja), Fire and Safety Appliance Ltd, East Africa Chains Ltd, Ruparelia Group, Pit Stop Lounge, Jinja Municipality and Uganda Railways are the other partners.

Posted by Patrick

Vivo energy fuels Pearl Rally with UGx180m

The Vivo Energy have pledged to continue supporting motorsport in Uganda after handing over sponsorship packed of Ugx 180m to the Federation of Motor Sports Uganda (FMU), the organizers of the Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally. The event will run from 5 – 7 May, 2023.
“We are delighted once again to be the title sponsor of the Annual Pearl Rally” said Shell Managing Director, Mr Johan Grobbelaar during a function at their head office in Industrial Area.
“We are committed to supporting the growth and development of motorsport in Uganda and we believe that this event provides an excellent opportunity to showcase the performance and efficiency of
Shell V-Power.”
Vivo in its 11 th year of sponsoring the Pearl, have been proudly partnering FMU and looking forward to continuing to build upon this legacy of support.
He went on: “As part of our commitment to the sport, we also are delighted to be associated with top Ugandan rally driver, Ronald Sebuguzi. “Ronald is a talented and accomplished driver who has achieved numerous successes on the rally circuit.


This year marks our 9th year running of sponsorship to Ronald Sebuguzi, and we are proud to
provide him with a sponsorship package worth UGX50m.”
On his part, Dipu Ruparelia the FMU president thanked Vivo Energy for their continued support of motorsport. “Motorsport remains a fast- growing discipline attracting more and more fans by the day,” Rupareliastated. “FMU always seeks to partnership to help her in pulling off this event to ensure that it maintains its prestigious outlook and standard
every year.”
Ssebuguzi vowed to win his maiden Pearl Rally. “I have been second or third in the past, but this time round am all out to battle for the title, the Shell V-Power driver said.
This year’s the event will run in the districts of Buikwe and Jinja over three day

Posted by Patrick

Rugomoka, Muwanguzi impress at fundraising sprint in Buloba

1.Byron Rugomoka/Hakim Mawanda Evox 03:57.3
2.Yasin Nasser/Ali Katumba Ford R5 03:57.4
3.Joshua Muwanguzi/ Ritah Nakigozi 03:58.1

The 2022 National Rally Champion Byron Rugomoka and clubman rally rookie Joshua Muwanguzi impress at FMU/CBS fundraising sprint held at Buloba over the weekend.
Rugomoka co-driven by Hakim Mawanda in former Ronald Ssebuguzi's Mitsubishi  Evox , posted fastest time of three minutes 57.3 seconds beating the Ford Fiesta R5 of Yasin Nasser and Ali Katumba by just one
micro second. Muwanguzi, who was the second best NRC classified driver, posted third best time of three minutes, 58.1seconds.

The day's eye catcher was Katikiro of Buganda Kingdom Owek. Charles Peter Mayiga who took on the navigator’s role of calling notes for Nasser in R5.

Getting ready; Co- driver Ali Katumba, helping the Katikiro Charles Peter Mayiga with the helmet before jumping in the cockpit with Yassin Nasser in a Ford R5

“It was a great experience to read the map for Yasin Nasser. It was such a lovely moment as a navigator,” an excited Mayiga
said.  I loved the sound and the power of the car. This sport is loved and cherished by youth. I was never nervous because I was in the hands of a champion. We ought to use it to sensitize more about good road usage.” Owek. Mayiga who braved the roaring sound of the Ford remarked.

Owek. Katikkiro Mayiga also urged the use of road signs in native languages, for easy interpretation of the different users.
Leading as the main fundraiser at event, the Katikkiro outlined Nkozi Hospital fundraising drive targeted to raise Uganda
shillings 3b to refurbish the accident and trauma wards.

Posted by Patrick

Karan Patel targets Pearl Rally victory

African Rally Championship (ARC) 2023 leader, Kenyan Karan Patel is focused, to winning Shell V-power Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally (POAUR) set for May 5th-7 th ,2023.

Patel co-driven by Tauseef Khan, captured the leaderboard after winning the Equator Rally held in Voi, Kenya last month. The Kenyan event is the second round of the ARC.

Patel targets having both fun behind his Ford Fiesta R5 wheels and getting crucial points from the third continental round.
“Am coming to have fun, it’s unfortunate I dropped out during last year’s event due poor judgment,” intimated Patel in a WhatsApp interview with FMU media.

The Kenyan crew have great memories about the Pearl of Africa rally, in particular the fans who turn up for the event and of course racing away from home.
“The aim is to drive to the best of my abilities so that I can win the ARC title,” Patel vividly emphasised.
He currently leads ARC chat with 30 points, followed by Ugandan crews of Yasin Nasser and Jas Mangat with 24 and 21 points respectively
Karan and Khan won four out of the five rounds of last year’s African Rally Championship but lost the title narrowly to Zambian couple Leroy Gomes and Urshila Gomes in a Ford Fiesta R5.
Patel has ambitions to drive WRC
The Kenyan driver still harbor ambitions to drive to a long time. “As long as I live I plan to go on with rallying including some rounds of WRC outside the Kenya Safari.
If the opportunity arises, why not, it’s every rally driver’s dream to race against the world’s best.”
He thanked his father, Kiran Patel Snr who has seen him through his rally development career and Red Bull his current sponsors.
Remaining ARC events
The rest of the ARC events are Tanzania Rally (July 22-23), Burundi Rally (August 19-20) Rwanda Rally (Sept 23-24) and Zambia Rally (Oct 21-22).

Charles Muhangi (RIP) and Stephen Byaruhanga are the only Uganda crew to win the ARC title. The crew in Subaru Impreza ‘Ekitaguriiro’, triumphed in 1999.

Other Kenyan drivers who have the ARC title include; Jaspreet Singh Chatthe (2015), Don Smith (2016), Manvir Baryan (2017-19) and Carl Tundo (2021).

Standing in Patel quest for ARC and Pearl Rally glory is Uganda duo of Jas Mangat/ Joseph Kamya (Mitsubishi EvoX) and Moil-sponsored crew of Yasin Nasser/ Ali Katumba (Ford Fiesta R5).

Posted by Patrick

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