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Upbeat Rajiv Ruparelia vows to win the NRC championship next year

He may have entered the rallying season late- May 2019, but 29-year old Rajiv Ruparelia has already made a mark on the rallying scene. The fans are exhilarated; they want more of the young man. His rivals, especially the top 5 above also know, that he is certainly the man to watch out for, come next season. An upbeat Rajiv has promised nothing but a win of the NRC Championship, come next year.

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Yassin Yasser and his co-driver Ali Katumba in their Subaru Impreza are expected to be crowned the MOSAC Rally 2019 champions, come this Tuesday, unless the stewards rule otherwise.  

Although the duo, posted the best time- 1 hour 28 minutes 43 seconds and 35 microseconds, in the final champion decider race, complaints from Team Arthur Blick saw judges defer their decision to this Tuesday.

Team Blick protested to the stewards, alleging that Nasser’s Subaru GVB had non-homologated spare parts. Stewards will also have to make a decision on Team Blick’s mid rally scrutineering following concerns about his car as well- according to Kawowo Sports– a leading online sports publication.

Yassin Nasser (415) points and Arthur Blick Jnr (385) are the two top contenders for the overall title. Blick and George Semakula his co-driver, George Semakula however came in the 5th position at yesterday’s Kapeka showdown, posting 1 hour 35 minutes 59 seconds and 66 microseconds.

Yassin finished 27 microseconds ahead of Omar Mayanja/Hussein Mukuye who posted the second fastest time (1 hour 28 minutes 43 seconds and 62 micro seconds). Ronald Sebuguzi/Leon Senyange in their Mitshubish EvoX came 3rd with 1 hour 30 minutes 15 seconds and 11 microseconds.

Hassan Alwi Jr/James Mwangi in a Subaru Impreza came 4th with 1 hour 35 minutes 44 seconds and 20 microseconds.   

Even as the complaints linger, the real threat lies elsewhere- freshman Rajiv Ruparelia. He may have entered the rallying season late- May 2019, but 29-year old Rajiv Ruparelia has already made a mark on the rallying scene. The fans are exhilarated; they want more of the young man. His rivals, especially the top 5 above also know, that he is certainly the man to watch out for, come next season.  

Throughout this season, all the five have either differently or together felt his new energy and the wrath of his purpose-made Polish-built Polo WRC Proto Car- that is now all so familiar on the track and in the headlines, as it is in rally fans memories.

Rajiv’s sheer guts, orchestrated by his superfast flying and hairpinning antics have been a spectacle to be behold on many a race track this season- from Sisa to Kayunga; from Kapeeka to Kalangala and then Hoima.

He came tops in all the races he participated in this year, except his inaugural race- the May 26th Enduro 4×4 Challenge Championship, hosted at Zion Estate, Ssisa.

AIRBORNE: Rajiv’s sheer guts, orchestrated by his superfast flying and hairpinning antics have been a spectacle to be behold on many a race track this season- from Sisa to Kayunga; from Kapeeka to Kalangala and then Hoima.

Although Rajiv did not compete directly with all the top 5 at this weekend’s MOSAC Rally Championship, as they were driving in the National Rally Championship (NRC) league- Rajiv who was competing in the Clubman Championship league and therefore only had to do 3 of the 5 races, he easily beat all the above 5 by a comfortable margin in the 3 races. He posted a total 50 minutes 5 seconds compared to Yasin’s 52:18, Omar Mayanja’s 52:43, Sebuguzi’s 53:36, Arthur Blick’s 53:48 and Alwi’s 58:17.

In a message to his fans, an upbeat Rajiv told CEO EA Magazine that following a successful debut this half year, all eyes are on winning the NRC Challenge.

“Next year, the NRC is ours. Mark my word,” he said. Further asked if he had any surprises for his fans and to clarify on rumours that he is bringing in another car next year, he said: “If I tell you my surprise, it won’t be a surprise anymore,” he said.

Muhereza Kyamutetera is the Executive Editor of CEO East Africa Magazine; strategic communications consultant, social-economic analyst and travel enthusiast based in Kampala.

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MOSAC RALLY DAY 1: Hairpinning Rajiv shows champions- Mayanja, Nasser, Sebuguzi and Blick dust

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KING OF THE TRACK: Rajiv's Polish-built Polo WRC Proto Car that is giving rally champions sleepless nights and days

This weekend’s MOSAC Rally- the last event on the National Rally Championship is the title decider.

Yasin Nasser (415) points and Arthur Blick Jnr (385) are the two top contenders for the title and naturally all eyes should have been on them were it not for the hairpinning and superfast Rajiv-come-lately.

Since Rajiv surfaced on the rallying scene at the May 26th Enduro 4×4 Challenge Championship, this year- it has been win-after-win.

And it was not any different in today’s Day 1 of today’s MOSAC Rally. According to the official results, Rajiv posted an impressive 0:16:12:00- a whole 0:01:13:00 ahead of Omar Mayanja/Hussein Mukuye (Mitsubishi Evo X; 0:17:25:00) his closest rival.

Rajiv in his purpose-built Polish-built Polo WRC Proto Car, was also a comfortable 0:01:15:00 ahead of Yassin/Nasser/Ali Katumba in a Subaru Impreza who came third, posting 0:17:27:00.

Ronald Sebuguzi/Leon Ssenyange in a Mitsubishi Evo X, posted 0:17:40:04  to notch the 4th position- 0:01:28:04 behind Rajiv.

Arthur Blick/George Ssemakula in the fifth position, also in a Mitsubishi Evo X, posted 0:18:16:01- a whole 0:02:04:01 behind Rajiv.

In total 27 drivers finished Day 1 of the race. Day 2 of the rally starts tomorrow. In total, there will be 161.75km (competitive) and 126.30km (liaison).

Other races in which Rajiv has come on top include the October 26th, 2019 fifth round of the autocross/Enduro championship held in Kalangala.   

On October 20th, Rajiv again won the third stage of Total-sponsored 2019 Kabalega Rally, National Rally Championship in Hoima, beating 39 competitors who took part in the race.

Some of the stars who fell under Rajiv’s accelerator pedal, include Yassin Nassser, Arthur Blick, Ronald Sebuguzi and Duncan Mubiru.   

He also won both the Federation of Motorsport Clubs of Uganda (FMU) Autocross championship in Kayunga in June and the MOSAC Autocross Championship in Kapeeka, in August this year.

Although 29-year old Rajiv is not among those who will be standing on the podium tomorrow at the closure of the MOSAC season- he has made his mark and his competitors know what to expect come next season.

Here are the full results of Day 1:

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WE RR UNSTOPPABLE: 4 wins in 5 months- is Rajiv Ruparelia, rally’s new wunderkind?

In just 5 months and 5 races, 29-year old Rajiv Ruparelia has collared 4 wins and finished second in the fifth, literally showing dust to the more experienced big names. With the right machines, more wheel time, determination and with funding and age on his side, the writing is on the wall- a new star in rallying has been born!

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Yesterday, Saturday, October 26th, 2019 Rajiv Ruparelia (Team RR) won the fifth round of the autocross/Enduro championship held in Kalangala.  

Rajiv, navigated by  Enoch Olinga posted a combined total of 7.25 in the two heats, a good 10 seconds ahead of his closest rival- Andy Musoke (7:35) and 21 seconds ahead of Jonas Kansiime’s 7:46.

LEFT-RIGHT: Team RR fans- Dr Haruna Nyanzi Bujirita, Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia and businessman, Gideon Kirumira in Kalangala. Rajiv’s successive wins and daredevil antics on the track are fast winning him fans and additional adrenaline to perform!

Rajiv’s win exactly 5 months after he debuted into rallying with his purpose-built Polish-built Volkswagen Polo WRC Proto Car, on Sunday May 26th Enduro and 4×4 Challenge Championship hosted at Zion Estate, is more significant in more ways than one.

At the time, Rajiv, who had just returned from the Rallystar Academy in South Africa for specialised rally training by veteran Leone Botha clocked 10:44 minutes, just 40 seconds behind a more experienced Ronald Ssebuguzi, who came first with 10:04.  In the third place was Jonas Kansiime who clocked 10:54 minutes while, Edwin Kalule came 4th having clocked 11:04 minutes.

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN: Rajiv spins it for the fans, raising dust for the competition

But that was then- both Ronald Sebuguzi and Jonas Kansiime have since severally fallen victim to Rajiv’s daredevil driving skills- not once or twice- but thrice and in just 5 months. 

Fresh from the Zion Estate, Rajiv under his ‘RR – Double Trouble’ has gone on to win  both the  Federation of Motorsport Clubs of Uganda (FMU) Autocross championship in Kayunga in June and the Mosac Autocross Championship in Kapeeka, in August.  

On October 20th, Rajiv again won the third stage of Total-sponsored 2019 Kabalega Rally, National Rally Championship in Hoima, beating 39 competitors who took part in the race.

Some of the stars who fell under Rajiv’s accelerator peddle, include Yain Nassser, Arthur Blick, Ronald Sebuguzi and Duncan Mubiru.  

Rajiv Ruparelia checks in after the first heat. He won the first heat posting 4:56, a good 17 seconds ahead of Andy Musoke’s 5:13, which saw him still win, even when Andy Musoke, led him by 7 seconds in the second heat.

And it is not a year yet- all writings are on the wall; a new star has been born!

He is young enough- just 29 years. He has the best training money can buy on the continent and just the right machines.

Thanks to the wins and his spinning antics on the track, the fan base is growing too- with his father, billionaire, Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia being probably his number 2 fan, after his wife, Naiya.

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Rajiv Ruparelia wins the Club Rally Championship (CRC) after posting the fastest time

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Rajiv Ruparelia in action at the Kabalega rally in Hoima, the star racer won the third stage after posting the fastest time of 23:52.

Rally driver, Rajiv Ruparelia has won the third stage of Total Kabalega Hoima rally 2019 beating 39 competitors who took part in the race.

The TOTAL Kabalega rally kicked off with scrutineering at Total Main Street where cars are checked. Every driver was given TOTAL Quartz, the right lubricant for optimum performance in petrol engines.

With his co-driver Enock Olinga, Rajiv Ruparelia driving his usual machine UBF 801H Golf VW proto, he posted Rajiv Ruparelia 23:52, Yasin Nasser 23:59, Arthur Blick 24:11, Ronald Sebuguzi 24:22, Duncan Mubiru 24:31, Omar Mayanja 24:37, Abdul Kateete 25:17, Dr Ashiraf 26:43

Manvir Baryan won stage one after he posted 3:17, Jas Mangat 3:20, Hassan Alwi 3:22, Dharam Pandya3:22, Ronald Sebuguzi 3:28, Christakis Fitidis 3:32, Kepher Walube 3:40, Ponsiano Lwakataka 3:46

Road to victory: Rajiv negotiates a corner on the muddy rally track during the hotly contested race.

In the stage two Raul emerged the winner 17:26, Alwi 17:27, Duncan 17:31, Seb 17:41, Yassin 17:41, Arthur 17:42, Omar 18:19, Rajiv 23:53

In June, Rajiv, son of Sudhir Ruparelia of the Ruparelia Group, emerged overall winner of the Federation of Motorsport Clubs of Uganda (FMU) Autocross championship Kayunga. Rajiv joined motor sport in April 2019.

Rajiv Ruparelia steps out of his victorious race machine UBF 801H Golf VW proto, in which he posted the fastest time of 23:52

Ealier Ismail Waligo experienced engine failure in the super special stage, Ponsiano Lwakataka retired in CS2 due to Turbo issues, Rauf rammed into a Tree and bowed out of the race, Sadat Negomba lost control due to the slippery road and almost went swimming in the river and Ambrose Byona, Jas Mangat, Ronald Sebuguzi could not finish due to engine failure.

It was not the best day in office for two-wheel driver championship leader Samuel Watendwa when he rolled in the first stage of the rally.

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