Kenyan Youngsters star at Safari Rally

Wednesday, June 30th, 2021 00:00 |
From left: McRae Kimathi, Hamza Anwar and Jeremy Wahome during their Safaricom sponsorship launch at Kasarani. Photo/PD/RODGERS NDEGWA

Rodgers Ndegwa

Kenyan youngsters Jeremy Wahome, Hamza Anwar and McRae Kimathi put in assured performances at the recently concluded WRC Safari Rally, showcasing the next generation of Kenya’s motorsport talent.

The trio, who were sponsored by Safaricom and Kenya Airways, took part in the event as part of the FIA Rally Star Programme, a global initiative that seeks to identify, train, and develop talented young drivers between 17-26 years.

Driving an M-Sport Fiesta Rally Three, 22-year-old Wahome, in the cockpit with co-driver Victor Okundi, drew from his experience in Formula Three to finish in 16th place in his first ever rally event, taking on more experienced drivers in one of the toughest WRC events.

“I am happy with my finish and I want to thank sponsors such as Safaricom for coming onboard to support us become professional and world-class drivers.

This will enable us to have Kenyan drivers participate in the main event in the next five years that the rally will be in the country,” said Wahome.

Hamza, also 22, finished 25th overall. Hamza comes from a strong rally heritage, as his father Asad Anwar and uncle Azar Anwar are both famous for their rally exploits.

The third young rally star, Kimathi, 26, put on a strong show throughout the grueling course, but had to retire his vehicle in the final stage due to a mechanical problem.

The WRC Safari Rally, which made its comeback to Kenya after a 19-year hiatus, was won by World Champion Sebastien Ogier with his Toyota Gazoo team-mate Takamoto Katsuta emerging second. Third place went to Hyundai Motorsport’s Ott Tanak.

Kenyan trio Onkar Rai, Karan Patel and Carl Tundo, also sponsored by Safaricom, finished in the seventh, eighth and ninth positions respectively.

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