Mubiru Duncan Kikankane sealed his first National Rally Championship despite finishing fourth behind rally winner and title challenger Omar Mayanja in the Sexy Speed rally on Saturday.
The rally held in Jinja presented a parlous challenge and became famous for the ‘wrong’ reason with criticism for the choice of rally name ‘Sexy Speed’ which was labelled sexist and immoral, but Kikankane held his nerve to beat his title rivals to the championship.
The disruptions to the rallying calendar due to COVID-19 meant that the season had to run for two years, and Kikankane showed unprecedented consistency to end over 10 years of disappointment in the chase for the title.
During a rally characterised by rain in Jinja and muddy roads in the sugarcane plantations, Kikankane avoided taking as many risks but stayed close to the front runners to see out the victory.
The pre-event drama saw his main challenger Hassan Alwi pull out of the event and hand him an even bigger advantage even with Mayanja and early season leader Fred Kitaka still in the running.
“It’s been an incredible season, so close, with ups and downs,” said Kikankane, who has finished on the podium in four of the six rounds.
“We gave everything that we could. I want to congratulate my fellow competitors for seeing out a challenging season like the one we have just had.”
“Special appreciation to my co-drive, my crew and the team management for overseeing this achievement, hopefully, we can defend the title next season,” he added.
Mayanja set the pace from the start, going into an early lead in the opening section of the rally. He would then exchange section victories with Ronald Ssebuguzi.
By the third section, Mayanja had stretched his lead over Ssebuguzi, who despite winning the final two sections, Mayanja prevailed with a time of 1:33:00, four seconds ahead of Ssebuguzi in second.
Kitaka finished third, two minutes, 59 seconds, with Kikankane closing off the top four, five minutes behind the rally winner.
A sixth-place finish overall saw the crew of Godfrey Nsereko and Raymond Munyagwa top the 2WD class and also seal the title in the category. Omwami Wotalya finished second while Godfrey Kirumira came third.
The Clubman Rally Championship (CRC) was won by Oscar Ntambi, with Sharif Ssendagire and Rashid Makumbi finishing second and third respectively.