Motorsports are not a very common sight in Africa but Uganda has had the Federation of Motorsports Clubs of Uganda, FMU, since 1999 when it was founded as a splitter association from AAU when Motorsports clubs came together to protest the excesses of what was then their regulator.
So in 1999, FMU became the sole regulator of motorsports in Uganda. It affiliated itself to the Africa Motorcycle Union (AMU) now FIM-Africa in 2000 and with the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile, FIA in 2001. The association is made up of 15 clubs and has been registered by the Government of Uganda as an association with a registered amended constitution.
The Management Committee of the FMU conducts the day to day operations of the Federation as guided by the President as per the FMU Constitution.
Here are five FMU sports that you should never miss;
One of the FMU sports in their motorcycling category is the Enduro. It is a form of motorcycle sports that is run on extended cross-country, off-road courses. It consists of varying obstacles and challenges. The main type of enduro event and the format to which the World Enduro Championship is run is a time-card enduro, where a number of stages are raced in a time trial against the clock.
Riders will leave together in groups and rows in a traditional time-keeping enduro and each of the rows will start at a particular limit. The object of the game is to arrive at pre-defined checkpoints according to a strict schedule.
An early or late arrival at the checkpoints will result in riders’ scores being penalised. There are also allocated periods of time for refuelling and servicing the motorcycles and penalties are also levelled for not meeting the defined times or for seeking outside assistance when not permitted.
Motocross evolved from motorcycle trials competitions held in the United Kingdom. It is a form of off-road motorcycle racing held on enclosed off-road circuits. Some other sports have been derived from Motocross such as;
Freestyle Motocross (FMX); which is a new variation of supercross that started out by the South African champion, Marco Urzi, it does not involve racing and instead, concentrates on performing acrobatic stunts while jumping motocross bikes.
Another is Supercross which is a cycle racing sport involving specialised high-performance off-road motorcycles on man-made dirt tracks with steep jumps and obstacles. Others include; Supermoto, ATV/Quad Motocross and SideJeeps.
Another FMU sport, Karting, is a variant of open-wheel motorsport with small, open, four-wheeled vehicles called karts, go-karts, or gearbox/shifter karts depending on the design.
These vehicles are driven on scaled-down circuits. The karts vary in speed with Superkarts being able to reach speeds as great as 260 kilometres per hour (160 mph). Recreational go-karts, however, are meant for general public use and may be at much lower speeds.
Karting is the most economic form of motorsport available on four wheels. In fact, the FIA permits licensed racing for anyone from the age of 8 onward.
Autocross is a timed competition in which drivers navigate one at a time through a defined course on either a sealed or an unsealed surface. It emphasises safe competition and active participation.
So there is generally only one car on the track, driving against the clock rather than racing against other cars. For this reason, the one or two-kilometre competition puts emphasis on car handling and driver skill rather than on engine power and speed. It is an entry-level motorsport that provides a stepping stone for drivers looking to move into more competitive motorsport events.
The events allow varying classes of vehicles and the courses may be temporary and marked by traffic cones or be permanent tracks with approval by a motorsport body.
4×4 Offroad involves driving or riding a vehicle on unsurfaced roads or tracks, made of materials such as sand, gravel, riverbeds, mud, snow, rocks, and other natural terrains.
The inclusive sport of offroading could involve leisure drives with unmodified vehicles to competitions with customised vehicles and professional drivers. The sport often receives flack for the environmental damage that can be inflicted by the vehicles as the event is ongoing.