Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Susan Muwonge

Susan Muwonge is a multiple rally-winning Ugandan driver active since 2005. She is also known by her nickname, “Super Lady”.

At first, she drove a Mitsubishi Lancer Evo 2 in rallysprints. She first competed in 2005, but burst onto the African rally scene in 2007, finishing the Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally in fifth place. Her car was a Subaru Impreza and she was the only woman to do complete the rally. She also won her country’s Clubmans’ championship.

The following year, she made the finish in Uganda, in fifth place. She also took part in the East African Rally Challenge, and was fourth in the Pearl of Africa event. At around this time, other female drivers began to appear in the Ugandan championship, and they often went by nicknames like Susan’s “Super Lady”. Rose Lwakataka, another Ugandan driver, was “The Black Bullet”.

In 2009, she concentrated on the Ugandan National championship, and was rewarded with her first outright win on the UMOSPOC Rally. She was fifth in the final standings.

She went back to rallysprints in Uganda in 2010, then returned to the African stages in 2011. This resulted in two wins in the season-opening MMC Rally and the Independence Rally, on the way to a Ugandan national championship title. She scored points in all of her events and earned two additional podium finishes. This was the first time this title had been won by a woman driver.

She planned to take a break in 2012 after certain rivalries went too far, but ended up back in the Ugandan championship. She did not win this time, but was the sole female finisher in the Pearl of Africa rally, in fifth place.

In 2013, she contested three rallies, coming seventh in the Pearl of Africa Rally in the Impreza, but recording DNFs in the MPU Challenge Rally and the Mosac Easter Sprint.

In 2014, she made another appearance in the Pearl of Africa Rally, and was thirteenth, in the Impreza. This was her only rally, as she had lost her major sponsor.

She was back in action in 2015, in an Impreza. Her best finish was a fifth place, in the Mountains of the Moon Rally. She was also sixth in the Pearl of Africa Rally.

In 2016, she was fourth in the Mountains of the Moon event, in the Impreza.

Susan returned to winning form in 2018, winning the Oryx Energies Elgon Rally outright in the Impreza. She also scored one second and two third places from seven events, the second spot on the crucial last round, which she started five points behind her nearest rival. This was enough to take her to a second Ugandan championship, even before she was promoted to winner of the Mbale final round due to a 10-minute penalty to Hassan Alwi.

Her critics claimed that she only won because three-time champion Jas Mangat withdrew, but she pointed to her previous title and said “you can’t fluke twice.”

Away from rallying, she is a teacher and runs a small school with her husband.

(Image from https://sports.chimpreports.com)


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