For what had started out as a fortunate race on Saturday and a much anticipated podium finish for Rajiv Ruparelia in the Sembabule SMC Rally 2021, ended in a futile mode after the Rally ace dropped out of the race he was leading before the finish line.
Rajiv who went into the race with optimism to emerge victorious was on the course of his mission when he collided with a stray drag along the way leaving his car damaged and unable to continue with the race.
At the time of the unfortunate incident, Rajiv was already leading the race by a commanding line for which his fans in Sembabule had already given him the crown for the race.
Speaking after the incident, the Rajiv Ruparelia Rally team released a statement noting that “…due to a high-speed encounter which involved a collision with a dog, our oil cooler was damaged causing the VW Polo to lose all its oil. We were unable to complete the Sembabule SMC Rally 2021.”
The statement added, “We thank you for your support and hope to come back stronger,”
Commenting on the incident, Arthur Blick Snr, a senior racer in the country wished Rajiv and his rally team luck next time. “I also knocked a sheep once and damaged my radiator but I carried Filla paste and finished the rally 3rd but I put on after a big front guard,” Blick Snr said.
His withdraw from the race meant Duncan Mubiru, who was second after him clinch the crown of the second stage of the third round of the 2020 National Rally Championship (NRC).
Mubiru posted a total time loss of 55minutes and 54.17seconds to win the SMC Rally in Sembabule on Saturday.
Mubiru put up a spirited fight against stiff opposition from Jas Mangat, Hassan Alwi who finished second and third respectively. The win boosted his chances of capturing the 2020 National Rally Championship (NRC),” the Newvision reported.