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Rally fans watch Duncan Mubiru’s Mitsubishi EvoX during a rally in Kapeeka | Daily Monitor (John Batanudde)

Last chance salon for Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally

The Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally will yet again run under a yellow card and could lose its place on the Africa Rally Championship calendar should there be any safety infringements during the rally.

The warning was handed by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FiA) in 2019, following a damning report by South African steward Richard Leeke, who proposed the rally to be overhauled.

The Ugandan leg of the African Rally Championship, and a jewel on the African and Ugandan motorsport calendar, POAUR will return for the first time since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It will be the third leg on both the African and Ugandan rally championship and will be held on May 6-8 moving back from its usual July/August slot.

The rally has struggled with safety and containing spectators, with fans constantly over powering marshals to stand inches away from the rally cars.

Preparations by the Federation of Motorsport Clubs of Uganda (FMU) has already started work to ensure that they will hold an event that ticks all the safety checks.

Event Clerk of Course David Mayanja also confirmed that the rally will run on 90% closed sections where there will be specifically reserved spectator viewing points.

There will be at least two viewing points per stage will catering services and entertainment in place. The fans will also be able to access progressive events and follow the action at those points.

“I cannot stress the need to ensure maximum safety during the 2022 Pearl of Africa rally,” Mayanja told Sanyuka TV.

“As we are aware, the rally is on its last card from FiA. They will be watching everything that we do, and we cannot afford to have things go wrong, that’s why we need to go big on safety.”

“My job is to ensure that the rally is safe for everyone involved. The competitors and fans, and from a technical perspective, we have gone the extra mile to ensure that the rally routes are closed,” he added.

“We shall have over 90% of the stages closed. This way we can be in control of how the fans access the stages. We have designed proper viewing points, that way we can keep the crowds in control.

“Everyone needs to think safety. We have engaged several fans groups on the issue because we recognise that they have to be involved in this campaign and be watchers by and assist our marshals in situations,” Mayanja stated.

The rally will cover a total 468 kilometres with a little over 271 kilometres covered competitively while there will be 197 kilometres as the liaison distance between the stages and service park.

Three sections have been designed to cover the entire rally. They will be repeated twice on day one, with day two featuring shortened versions of the same sections.

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