Dar es Salaam. Iringa’s famous driver Ahmed Huwel believes he can win more top honours after sparkling at the Mkwawa Rally over the weekend.
Navigated by Gary McElthinney, Huwel won the 128km rally, the third round of the 2018 National Rally Championship (NRC) series, in a convincing style, clocking 1.25.51.
“I’m chuffed by my performance because it was tough out there competing with famous and experienced drivers in Africa,” the excited Huwel said at the end of the two-day rally.
“The most positive thing is that I feel like I have so much room for improvement. I feel I still have a lot of great years in me,” he said.
Huwel shrugged off competition from a number of elite drivers during the closely-contested race, including Zambian Muna Singh and Dar es Salaam’s Dharam Pandya.
Singh, who was navigated by Zunaid Khan, finished second after clocking 1.28.11.
The third position went to Gurjit Singh and his navigator Shameer Yusuf in 1.32.00, while Dharam Pandya and his navigator Moses Matovu, clocked 1.33.03 to finish fourth.
Ajminder Singh and his navigator Manmeet Singh finished fifth after clocking 1.34.18, while Shane Abas was sixth.
Tufail Akin and Hassan Ramzan were placed seventh and eighth respectively. The other drivers in the top 10 were Mandeep Singh and Amer Balhabour, who finished ninth and tenth respectively.
The grueling and mouth-watering race saw nine drivers failing to finish due to mechanical problems, according to the event coordinator, Ahmed Mbata.
Drivers who failed to finish the rally are Rajpal Singh, Adam Rauf, Gurpal Sandhu, Nadeem Daud, Alfaf Munge and Samir Nahdi. Also in the list were Aliasger Fazal, Hamid Mbata and Randeep Singh.
“It was a thrilling race. A number of top drivers, including Dharam Pandya, Ahmed Huwel (winner) and Zambia’s Muna Singh, battled it out for the title,” Mbata said.
“Despite failing to win the race, Singh gave Tanzanian drivers a real run for their money,” he added.
According to him, 19 drivers competed in the race.