By Oure Reporter
City businessman and ace rally driver Rajiv Ruparelia is warming up for the tracks again after the Federation of Motorsports Uganda (FMU) announced that it plans to resume this year’s calendar by holding motor rallies before end of year.
It should be noted that motor rallies were some of the sports activities that were suspended by president Yoweri Museveni in March this year when he announced several measures that were aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19.
However, the President recently announced during his national address that the suspension on outdoor sports activities had been lifted and they would be held under Standard Operating Procedures.
A few days after the announcement, the FMU has announced that they are planning to hold motor rally events at dates and venues that will be communicated later this year after consultations with the Ministry of Health .
Ernest Zziwa, the Vice President FMU, said that they are ready to resume motor rallies but they can only do so with help from the government. “The FMU executive committee will hold a meeting with all stakeholders and the National COVID-19 Taskforce to pave a way forward on how to resume motor rally activities,” Zziwa said.
Having been off the tracks for months because the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the FMU calendar, we have since established that Rajiv just can’t wait to jump into his monster Volks Wagen Pronto, such that he can do what he does best when it comes to motor rallies.
Rajiv, who is the Managing Director of the Ruparelia Group of Companies may be a baby in Uganda’s Motor rally but he set his sights on bigger things.
Having joined in May last year, he has already impressed in the sport.
He finished second in the National Rally Championship (NRC) after which he set eyes on the Africa Rally Championship (NRC) before the sport was interrupted by COVID-19.
“Now I have added one more year to my training and I am planning to upgrade my vehicle from VW Polo Proto to R5 as I target to compete in the ARC,” Rajiv noted while speaking at Sanyu FM.
“We are targeting South Africans and Kenyans because they have dominated the event.
“Why is it that it is them winning and not us? I am going to hold the Ugandan flag up in the sky because I am not going there to just participate but rather try to win.”
The ARC is the biggest event on the continent’s rally calendar and it has been held since 1981 with Zambia’s Singh Satwant the record holder having won 8 titles.
Rajiv, who is navigated by Ronnie Walia claims that he was inspired by Chipa Adams as a kid and has always wanted to join the sport.
“Chipa (Adams) would always come to pick me and my sister from school and I loved the experience with him on the wheel and me in the back seat, Rajiv continued.
Rajiv recently went to South Africa for training but claims he did not get what he wanted.
“Yes I went to South Africa for training at a fully-fledged academy but I was left disappointed,” he noted, adding that; “We were given two cars to drive but one had braking issues and the other’s engine popped out after we had gone hard on it. So the certificate I got from there is just for two hours.”
Rajiv, who first raced in May 2019 claims he learned a lot in the first year and has room for improvement.
“My first year was a learning process, learning how to drive proper and manage my team better.”
“I am like 40 percent of what I am supposed to be so I will embrace more room for improvement.”
Rajiv won two events last year including the Kapeeka Auto Cross and the FMU Auto Cross championship in Kayunga.
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