With a dominant performance in the Kabalega Rally in Hoima on Saturday, Rajiv Ruparelia won his first National Rally Championship.
Rajiv won the penultimate NRC round by 45 seconds, with six competitive stage victories out of the seven stages conducted throughout the one-day rally.
Mubiru Duncan ‘Kikankane’ in a Subaru Impreza GVB finished second, relegating the title fight to the final round finale in Jinja next month (November 26-28).
Kikankane won by 1:20 seconds over Ronald Ssebuguzi’s Mitsubishi Evo X, 2:39 seconds over Omar Mayanja, and 7:52 seconds over championship opponent Hassan Alwi’s Subaru Impreza N14.
The championship contenders have a maximum of 100 points available, with 90 points separating championship leader Kikankane and fourth-placed Mayanja.
Kikankane is 70 points ahead of Alwi, who is in second place with 280 points. With 270 points, Fred Busuulwa, who finished sixth in Hoima, is third. Mayanja is the highest-scoring player in the top four, with 260 points.
Rajiv seized command of the rally right away, covering the 26-kilometer Kingozi stage in 17:40 seconds, nine seconds faster than Kikankane.
In the second stage of the day, he gained command of the rally, going a minute quicker than the rest of the pack.
But it wasn’t all plain sailing for Rajiv, who had mechanical issues at the start of the third stage and had to yield the lead after losing 2:37 seconds to Kikankane.
At the completion of the second lap through the 26 kilometer World Wide Movers test, the RR Racing team crew had reduced their 1:28sec disadvantage by 50 seconds. By the end of the second run through Bugambe Tea and the rally’s second loop, Kikankane’s advantage had been cut to 10 seconds.
Rajiv continued with a peaceful drive in the last loop of the rally, securing stage wins with third passes through World Wide Movers and Bugambe Tea after demoting Kikankane from the lead in the afternoon.
Duncan Mubiru 350 in the NRC preliminary standings
280 Hassan Alwi
270 Fred Busuulwa
260 Omar Mayanja