Dauda scores first NRC victory in dramatic rally at Fort Portal
Umar Dauda and Hamza Lwanga pulled off a surprising finish as they recorded their first career National Rally victory in what was an eventful rally at Fort Portal.
Dauda, who was barely tipped for victory this weekend, solidified his momentum as top contenders fell by the wayside.
The Mitsubishi VI driver started the final day in sixth position. He gradually moved into the top five and then held onto the win when Duncan Mubiru retired and Clubman rally driver Mike Mukula covered his percentage of the rally.
“I am very happy with this victory. We didn’t expect to win the event at all.
“Our goal was to finish in the top five and then we found ourselves in a position to fight for the win,” Dauda said in an interview with Hapasport.
Dauda took the win after posting 1:25 and 38 seconds.
Victory, he admits, was carefully achieved.
“The car had problems even before the rally. We tried to fix a few, but couldn’t do much.
“But we decided to take it as it is and focus on staying on the road and aiming for the top five,” he added.
Jonas Kasiime took second place. He was 11 seconds behind the winner.
Mark Lubega and Daniel Mbabazi clinched their first NRC podium and career best finish by sealing the podium places.
Peter Kalule finished fourth followed by Byron Rugomoka fifth overall.
Oscar Ntambi once again dominated the two-wheel drive category behind rival Ibrahim Lubega and Godfrey Nsereko in third place.
Current NRC leader Ponsiano Lwakataka had an engine misfire that ended the rally after two stages on Saturday.
Ronald Sebuguzi abandoned his newly acquired Ford Fiesta Proto when an oil pump failure ended any hope of finishing the rally this year in four races.
Rally leader Duncan Mubiru suffered a broken differential which ended all chances of winning the rally and returning to championship contention.
The next round will take place in Sembabule next month.