Kenya news

Hamza,Adnan tipped for success in new R5 Machine at Pearl of Africa Rally

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An energy-sapping gravel course awaits the Kenyan duo and their R5 Ford Fiesta machine when the 2024 ARC Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally zooms off this weekend (May 10-12) in Jinja.

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The duo of Hamza Anwar and his co-driver Adan Din carry an air of confidence into Uganda’s premier fixture as they aim to conquer the iconic event in their new marque in Africa.

This will be their first outing in the R5 car which hands an  opportunity to challenge the big boys on an equal footing.

Hamza entered a Rally3 Fiesta on WRC Safari Rally Kenya 2024 in Naivasha where he finished 22nd overall.

Better known to Ugandan spectators as “Problem Child”, Hamza piloted a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X in the 2022 Pearl Rally and it will be interesting to see what the new car offers for the rally youngster in Uganda.

Hamza’s former teammate and navigator Victor Okundi: “With Hamza in an R5 car it will be about who blinks first. The last time I witnessed him duel in Rwanda 2022, it was nail-biting and Hamza had a slight disadvantage with the Rally3’s limited suspension travel but emerged on top in that fight so for Pearl, my money is on “Problem Child!”.”

Okundi added: “Pearl of Africa is an interesting watch. I’ll be glued to the screens. Bumper entry makes me a little jealous. There’s the obvious fan favorite Karan (Patel) for the win. But the fight to watch is between Hamza and homeboy Mangat in an i20!!”

Hamza’s dad Asad Anwar on his part said: “Hamza’s Ford Fiesta is a used car, the one (Carl) Tundo drove in the Safari. Hamza has never competed in an R5 car before in his life but has been very quick in the Ford Fiesta Rally3. It’s a learning curve. I have asked him (Hamza) not to break the car, I believe he’ll take it easy.”

The entry lists for the upcoming Shell V-Power Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally has two foreigners in Hamza and Karan Patel.

With a diverse field of competitors, including local talents, international crews, and African Rally Championship contenders, the rally promises gripping action and intense competition.

The entry list comprises 35 drivers with five registered ARC ( FIA African Rally Championship) teams, ensuring a mix of seasoned veterans and ambitious newcomers ready to tackle the weekend’s Jinja-based showpiece.

Local star Jas Mangat, is partnering up with French co-driver Laurent Magat, behind the wheel of a Hyundai I20.

Adding an extra layer of excitement to the competition are the local ARC contenders, including Micheal Mukula Jr and Edward Kiyingi, who will steer a Subaru Impreza N14, and Moustapha Mukasa and Lawrence Mwambazi, who will be unleashing their Mitsubishi Evo9 contraptions with the much needed precision and power.

The international presence is equally captivating, with crews like Karan Patel and Tauseef Khan, entered in a cutting-edge Skoda Fabia R5.

Karan and Tauseef are set to challenge the local teams with the expertise gained from various international rallies.

Ugandan veteran Ponsiano Lwakataka will be piloting a sleek Subaru Impreza N12B renowned for its agility and speed in the Ugandan National Rally Championship (NRC).

Lwakataka, also known as “Mafu Mafu,” has officially registered for the ARC. Lwakataka, known for his daring driving style and competitive spirit, will be accompanied by his co-driver Mugisha Samuel, a seasoned navigator in the rally circuit.

The Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally, slated to be the first round of the ARC 2024 following the withdrawal of Ivory Coast, promises to set the tone for an exhilarating season.

In addition to the Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally, Lwakataka has confirmed participation in the Kenya Equator Rally, as well as rounds in Tanzania, Burundi, and Rwanda. This ambitious schedule indicates Lwakataka’s commitment to achieving top honors in the 2024 ARC season.

The addition of Lwakataka and Samuel brings the total number of ARC-registered crews participating in the Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally to seven.

They join a competitive field that includes Jas Mangat, the crew of Karan Patel and Tauseef Khan, the crew of Hamza Anwar and Adnan Din, the crew of Moustapha Mukasa and Mwambazi Lawrence, the crew of Kuku Ranjit and Siraj Kyambade, and the crew of Micheal Mukula Jr. and Edward Kiyingi.

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