Following in father’s foot steps

Thursday, April 29th, 2021 00:00 |
Hamza Anwar (left) with his navigator Riyaz Ismail in their Subaru Impreza, react at the podium before the start of this year’s ARC Equator Rally in Naivasha at the weekend. Photo/PD/ ALEX NJUE

Edwin Otieno

If there’s one great tradition that has continued to captivate the rally-sport and one which Kenyans can be proud of today, it is that of second generations of racing drivers.

A myriad of early rally legends have subsequently seen their sons - or in some cases other family members - show promise where they once conquered.

The list of second generation drivers is endless when you come to think of the likes of Vic Preston Senior and Junior, Frank Tundo and his son Carl, John Rose and son Lee Rose.

Asad Anwar and his elder brother Azar Anwar were drivers of national repute. Asad was revered for his antics on twisty stages and indeed a master of special stages.

Azar is a three times Kenya Champion and an outright Safari Rally winner in 2006 with George Mwangi.

In 2006, Asad Anwar racked up his maiden in victory in the KCB Mavuno Loans Rally in Nanyuki, toppling his elder brother Azar from the top of the KNRC table which Azar had virtually made his own since the start of the 2006 season.

So when Hamza Anwar (son of Asad) took to the start ramp on Equator little did he know he’ll be creating history.

Not only did the 22-year-old Coast based rookie become the youngest finisher on Equator, he also become one of the many sons of a former driver to compete in the African Rally Championship. 

Hamza is excited how he has fared when following in his father’s and uncle’s wheel tracks.

In 2018, Hamza chalked up the highest points tally on the 2WD Non Turbo Class of the Kenya National Autocross Championship series but lost the title to Safina Khan as he hadn’t met the 75 percent threshold of participation. 

Asked about his Equator success, Hamza explained: “We expected to be amongst the top 10 if we kept to our strategy - which we did - although it was extremely challenging  for my first marathon kind of event in Kenya and driving a 4wd on Safari routes.”

With Equator event being a dry run for Safari and Indeed a Navigators’ rally, Hamza is singing praises of his navigator Riyaz Ismail.

“My navigator was well experienced and did a good job all round. Be was spot on and called the correct notes.

We were seeded 4th last on road which was a little disturbing but nevertheless we worked our way up to 4th on day 1 before losing time to the much more experienced international drivers but our plan was never to attack but get to the end clean. We lost some time on Day 2 losing fourth place. But that’s rallying.”

More on News