Young drivers played a significant role in the just concluded Equator Rally, a round of the 2021 African Rally Championship.
While Hamza Anwar scored a career best fifth in the African Rally Championship Event, McRae Kimathi made history by becoming the only indigenous African driver to finish in the top eight of the well-known round of the 2021 African Rally Championship.
"I will be in rallying since I love it so much. The Equator Rally was tough and the Safari will be brutal. But I will figure out how to survive. Out there with all those bigger name drivers with excellent team and equipment set-up and I giving it the best shot. I liked it," said Hamza, 22, who finished fifth driving a Subaru Impreza with Riyaz Ismail.
Hamza follows his dad Asad and his uncle Azar Anwar, who are established as some of the well-known rally drivers in Kenya. Azar is the former winner of the Safari Rally.
McRae was placed in the eighth place driving also a Subaru Impreza with Shameer Yusuf as his navigator.
McRae's best position in the Kenya National Rally Championship so far is when he finished fifth overall in the Meru Rally.
McRae, Yusuf and Ismail learnt the art of rallying at the Abdul Sidi Rally Advisor (ASRA).
McRae follows in the footsteps of his father Phineas Kimathi, who is the CEO of the WRC Safari Rally.
Kimathi Senior was a well-known rally driver at the peak of his rallying career before he took charge of managing motor sports in Kenya as a member of the Kenya Motor Sports Federation.
He holds the record for being the first ever driver to score points for the Hyundai Team in the World Rally Manufacturers Team when with Abdul Sidi, the crew finished 18th overall and first in Class in the 1998 Safari Rally.
Kimathi and Sidi were at the wheels of a Hyundai Accent when the rally still played a major role in the World Rally Championship series.
"I am really excited to have finished in the 8th position in the Equator Rally on my 10 event since I graduated from the Abdul Sidi Rally Advisor (ASRA). The Equator Rally was really well organised and the stages were a mixture of wet, dry, short and exciting. My navigator and the team were also excellent," said McRae, 26. "I am hoping to do the WRC Safari Rally if all goes well with the same car and navigator. I also need to concentrate on my career as an accountant.
Nearly 20 graduates from the Abdul Sidi Rally Advisor (ASRA) took part in the Equator Rally,
Riyaz Ismail was the best placed navigator in the fifth place with Hamza Anwar.
Tuta Mionki was the best placed female navigator in the 11th place with Nzioka Waita. McRae Kimathi was the best placed driver in the eighth place. Others included Steve Mwangi and Denis Mwenda (10th), Evans Kavisi and Absolom Aswani (13th) and Eric Bengi (15th). Linet Ayuko retired.