15 January 2013

Uganda: Rallying - World Ranking Motivates 'Super Lady'

Susan Muwonge is raring to go this season as Moses Mugalu reports.

Susan 'Super Lady' Muwonge, who was the first female driver to win the National Rally Championship title two seasons ago, was rated eighth in the 2012 rankings for world female rally drivers. Muwonge says this recognition among the world's elite rally drivers is a big morale booster as she prepares to challenge for the 2013 championship title.

The Subaru N10 driver remarked that despite dropping from fifth position in 2011 to eighth, her ranking means that she's still working hard. In the 2011 season, Muwonge defied the odds in the sport previously dominated by men to win the (NRC) crown.

"My current ranking has motivated me to aim higher this season," she said on Monday.

Last year, the NRC was even more competitive, with the return of the big boys, and she failed to defend the title. Jas Mangat won it instead. But the 'Super Lady', believes she can reclaim the title. With assured sponsorship from Kobil and her car in perfect mechanical condition, Muwonge can't wait to hit the routes for the new season.

She will, however, face the stiffest of challenges from Mangat, Ronald Ssebuguzi, Duncan 'Kikankane' Mubiru, Nasser Mutebi, Ponsiano Lwakataka and Christakis Fitidis. The route for the season-opening Mbarara Challenge Rally due next month has been released, setting the tone ahead of the NRC title fight flag-off.

Muwonge is the only Ugandan driver in the top rankings that were released. Bulgarian driver Ekaterina Stratieva tops the rankings, followed by Emma Gilmour (New Zealand) and Burcu Cetinkaya (Turkey) in second and third positions respectively.

World motor-sport body Fia, released the annual rankings early this week and they are based on cumulative points earned from the drivers' performances in all Fia sanctioned events last year.

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