Rallying: Women ready step up to the plate

Wednesday, December 8th, 2021 01:00 |
KMSF chairman Phineas Kimathi (centre) with women rally participants at the WRC Safari Rally headquarters in Nairobi yesterday. PD/EDWIN OTIENO

Local female rallying participants can dare to dream having been assured of a spot in the sport. 

This assurance was given by none other than the country’s motorsports head honcho Phineas Kimathi during a meeting with a group of women rallying participants who paid him a courtesy call yesterday. 

During the meeting with the chairman and WRC Safari Rally CEO, the group decried women’s minimal involvement in management of the sport.

The group’s chairperson Hellen Shiri pointed out the anomaly with Kimathi acknowledging that women, indeed, have the talent and the interest to competently run the sport but more must be done starting at the FIA level.

Their spokeswoman Tuta Mionki, who navigated Eric Bengi to a career fourth overall in the 2019 FIA Safari Rally candidate event, said women are more likely to land the co-driver’s role and enumerated ways the KMSF can help women achieve their dream to compete in rallies.

Dominant figure

The women are looking to reclaim the legacy left by Anne Teith and Sylvia King, the winners of the 1984 Kenyan national championship and, for a long time, dominant figures in the Safari Rally.

“Talent is God given. But when you add interest, as you have shown, then everything is possible,” Kimathi told the ladies at the WRC Safari Rally headquarters, Kasarani.

Kimathi said the FIA is willing to sponsor a female driver in the federation’s FIA Rally Star programme but on merit, adding they need to follow their dreams fiercely. He added that KMSF is also willing to accommodate women in all their commissions.  

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