By ELIAS CHIPEPO –
MOHAMMED Essa title defence suffered a setback yesterday as he crashed out of the Shell V-Power Pearl of Africa Uganda rally that was won by home favourite Jas Mangat as Jassy Singh powered to a third-place finish.
Apart from just winning the Ugandan national rally championship, Mangat also enhanced his chances of claiming his maiden African Rally Championship (ARC) title after taking his points to 86.
Jassy moved into second place on 66 points thanks to his fourth placed fifth from 10th on Day One of the rally.
Essa dropped into third place stuck on 50 points as bad luck caught up with him again having failed to finish the Sasol rally in South Africa and Tanzania rally.
With only two rallies remaining on the ARC circuit, Essa, who retired after breaking the rear subframe of his Subaru Impreza N16, will need to win the Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally on September 20 to 22 and also the International Madagascar Rally set for November 1 to 3.
“Sorry guys we are out of Uganda rally. Rally can be cruel at times. The rear subframe broke on the car and we can’t continue,” said Essa, who was at the time leading the rally by 29 seconds.
Essa was not the only casualty as Jaspreet Chatthe of Kenya and Giancarlo Davite of Rwanda, who are also taking part in the ARC, crashed out of the rally that had the last stage cancelled due to heavy rains.
Mangat timed one hour 22 minutes and nine seconds ahead of Frank Tundo of Kenya was clocked an hour 26 minutes and 48 seconds with Ponsiano Lwakataka of Uganda taking third place with a time one hour 33 minutes and 52 seconds and Jassy was fourth on one hour 59 minutes and 30 seconds.
Jassy lost time when his NetOne Technologies Subaru Impreza N10 got stuck in the mud in Spectator Stage four while avoiding to hit into a spectator’s car and lost ground on the leading pack.Times of Zambia