Ugandan crew of Yasin Nasser and Ali Katumba took a step closer to clinching the 2023 Africa Rally Championship, after securing a second place finish at the Burundi International Rally.
Nasser and co-driver Katumba went into the rally, which was being run as part of the ARC for the first time this year after securing the Uganda National Rally Championship with victory in Masaka.
But the rally belonged to Kenya's Karan Patel who produced a dominant performance as a testament to his dominance on the African rally stage.
From the start, Patel showcased a relentless drive of determination and precision in his Ford Fiesta R5.
Not resting on his laurels even after setting up a commendable lead heading into the final leg, he pushed boundaries and conquered five of the final day's six stages.
This masterful performance ensured a decisive victory margin, with Patel finishing a staggering five minutes and 57 seconds ahead of Nasser who finished second.
However, their cumulative score sits them in third place on the ARC leaderboard with a total of 60 points.
While Patel was the star of the rally, Nasser and Katumba managed to strategically steer their Ford Fiesta R5 and held onto second in the ARC category, prioritizing safety and consistency.
With a comfortable lead atop the ARC leaderboard, boasting 78 points after four rounds, Nasser adopted a strategy that would inch him closer to the coveted 2023 ARC title.
For the Pilipili rally team's Jas Mangat and Joseph Kamya, the Burundi rally was a testament to resilience. Beset by technical challenges, the duo's focus was singular: survival.
Their perseverance paid off, enabling them to accumulate sufficient points to retain second place on the ARC standings with a total of 63 points.
Innocent Bwamiki and Hamza Lwanga, recovering from an initial setback, managed a commendable fourth position in the ARC category and a second place in ARC2.
Rounding off the ARC top five finishers was Prince Nyerere Charles.
In the national category, the local duo of Valery Bukera and Khetia Nital continued their rally dominance.
The Burundian pair clinched the top spot in the national category, finishing second overall.
They were followed by Massoud Fahd, with Uwikunda Prime and Roshanali Mohammed completing the top four national contenders.
The ARC heads to Rwanda for the Rwanda Mountain Gorilla rally due 22nd to 24th September, before it heads to Zambia and finally Tanzania.