KAMPALA – Rajiv Ruparelia may be a baby in the rallying industry but he is setting his sights on bigger things.
The Managing director of Ruparelia Group joined the industry in May last year but has already impressed in the sport.
He finished second in the National Rally Championship (NRC) and is now setting sights on the Africa Rally Championship (NRC).
“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 a local Radio station.
“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 flagged academy but i was left disappointed.
“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 has learned a lot in the first year and has room for improvement.
“My first year has been 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.