Nairobi — With the D- Day in Sight, Kenya Airways is not being left out of the WRC Safari Rally action after the national carrier came on board as the official airline partner for three FIA Rally youngster drivers who will compete in the upcoming WRC Safari Rally in Kenya.
The three budding young Kenyan drivers who have been selected include McRae Kimathi (26), Hamza Anwar (22) and Jeremy Wahome (22) who will join the global programme.
The sponsorship empowers them to battle it out against older more experience drivers at the upcoming Safari Rally slated for June 24-27 around the scenic Rift Valley.
The FIA partnership with KQ will see Kenya airways fly the team to Europe and beyond as they go for training and profiling the teams globally through the KQ network and assets.
Allan Kilavuka, the Chief Executive Officer at Kenya Airways, said: "Our partnership with the FIA Rally Star program is an exciting one, as it aims to attract and grow young local talent. For years, KQ has been a loyal supporter of various rallying events including the East African Safari Classic Rally and the Safari Rally."
He added, "The return of the World Rally Championship to Kenya is incredibly nostalgic and we are committed to supporting the growth of fresh talent within the rallying community. This sponsorship is further important because it cements our footprint as a long-standing supporter of sports development on the continent including rugby, golf, athletics, volleyball, and, of course, motor sports. We truly look forward to supporting the rise of a new generation of rally drivers and are proud to be there as they embark on this next chapter of their careers."
WRC Safari Rally CEO Phineas Kimathi lauded Kenya Airways for their sponsorship novelty towards the FIA Rally star programme.
"This program presents an exciting opportunity for young drivers to gain vital experience. The FIA Rally Star Programme is the most cost-effective way for any young budding driver to get onto the world stage," Kimathi, who is also the Kenya Motor Sport Federation boss said.
"Our long-term goal is to attract more young drivers to the sport and in time, enable them to graduate to the senior category for Kenya. This is a special moment for the local rallying community, and we are proud to witness Hamza, Jeremy and McRae become the faces of the next generation of competitive rally drivers thanks to KQ," Kimathi added.
McRae Kimathi will be navigated by Shameer Yusuf, Riyaz Ismail will navigate Hamza Anwar while Jeremy Wahome will be navigated by Victor Okundi.
Across the world, this FIA-funded programme organizes competitions to tap into the most promising rallying talent early enough to nurture and grow it. This will in turn kick-start their professional rallying career worldwide within the Junior World Rally Championships.
The pressure is now on the Young budding drivers to show what young drivers can achieve with the right backing guidance and mentorship.