Three Kenyan FIA rally stars, McRae Kimathi, Hamza Anwar and Jeremiah Wahome, are full of confidence ahead of this year’s WRC Safari Rally, to be flagged off today, the 22nd, June 2023, at Uhuru Park in Nairobi.
The Safaricom & Kenya Airways sponsored trio will feature in their Ford Fiesta Rally cars and aim to conquer the challenging Naivasha route.
Having been part of the programme for the single-car (Ford Fiesta Rally3) category of WRC3, the trio will be looking to conquer the challenging Naivasha route course, which will be headlined by Priority 1 World Rally Teams and WRC2 Rally Two (the former Rally5 marques) entrants.
Speaking after today’s shakedown, Hamza Anwar said: “Once again, as a team, we are delighted to participate in this big stage rally event. It’s an amazing milestone. For three years, we have partnered together with Safaricom on this project and have grown immensely as a team. My car is in good condition and I hope to give my best. We promise to make Kenyans proud by posting a 1-2-3 podium clean sweep in Rally3.”
This year, Safaricom’s mobile-money service, M-PESA, committed KES 25 million to support the WRC Safari Rally FIA rally Star Programme.
As part of Safaricom’s sustainability agenda, the telco and rally stars also participated in a tree-planting initiative held today at the Wildlife Research & Training Institute to mark the 2023 WRC Safari Rally, with 7,000 trees planted.
This is the third year in a row that the FIA youngsters will be participating in the WRC Safari Rally after successfully taking part in the last two events. Last year, Jeremiah Wahome and Mc Rae Kimathi finished in second and third positions respectively under the WRC 3 category and 30th and 32nd positions overall.
The trio is part of the FIA Rally Star programme, a global initiative that seeks to identify, train, and develop talented young drivers aged between 17 and 28 years.
The 2023 Safari Rally has attracted 34 entries, including WRC points leader and defending Safari Rally champion Kalle Rovanpera. Other notable international drivers who have confirmed their participation are Sébastien Ogier, the 2021 WRC Safari Rally Champion, Ott Tänak, Evans Elfyn, Thierry Neuville, Esapekka Lappi, Dani Sordo, Katsuta Takamoto, and Solberg Oliver.
In addition to the FIA Rally Stars, the rest of the Kenyan team comprises of Patel Karan, Tundo Carl, Virani Aakif, Canobbio Piero, Singh Vohra Samman, Kavisi Evans, Rathod Minesh, and Kariuki Josiah.
About the three Kenyan FIA Rally Stars:
1. Hamza Anwar
· Car Type- Ford Fiesta Car 35
· 201 7- Runners up in the National Autocross Championship riding a 2WD N/T turbo.
· 2018 – 2wd N/T buggy champion in the National Autocross Championship.
· 2018 – Youngest entrant in the 1st Mini Classic also winning the most meritorious award
· 2020 – Finished 4th overall in the Arusha/Tanzania Rally.
· 2021 Finished Sth overall in the ARC Equator Rally.
· 2021 – WRC Safari Rally- 2 nd position in class RC3
· 2022 – Current record holder for Loldio and only youngster to win a stage outright.
· 2022 FIA Africa Junior Champion
· 2022 ARC Zambia- 2nd position in ARC3, ARC Junior and class RC3.
· 2023 WRC rally Croatia-4th position WRC3, 5th position Junior WRC, 1st overall, 6th position RC3.
2. Jeremiah Wahome
· Car Type- Ford Fiesta Car 36
· Started go karting in 2006 at the age of 8 in the Rift Volley Motorsports CIub Championship.
· 2015 – Competed in the Formula BMW Asia Cup Series in 2015, claiming 3 top rookie awards with 2 runner-up finishes and a 3rd place.
· Participated in the BRDC British Formula 3 at the age of 18, finishing 9th.
· 2021 WRC Safari Rally- 1st position in RC3.
· 2021 ARC Tanzania – l st position in Africa Junior, AFRC3 and class RC3.
· 2022 WRC Safari Rally- 2nd position inWRC3 Open, class RC3.
· 2022 ARC Equator (Kenya) – 1st position in ARC3, ARC
· 2023 – Machakos raIIy- 1st position ARC3 Junior category, 1st overall position
3. McRae Kimathi
· Car Type- Ford Fiesta Car 37
· 2015 – Started rallying at the age of 15 at the AbduI Sidi Rally School.
· 20 18 – First raIly entry at the Autocross Championship finishing 3rd overall.
· 20 1 9 Youngest to finish the WRC Candidate event.
· 2019 Finished 5th overall in the KCB Meru Rally.
· 2021 – African RaIly Champion Junior
· 2021 – First Kenyan to ever enter the FIA Junior WRC Championship becoming the fourth African driver to ever compete in the championship.
· 2022 – ARC Zambia- 1st position in ARC3, ARC Junior, class RC3 and 3rd position overall
· 2023 – Machakos raIIy- 2nd position ARC3 Junior category, 2nd position overall
· 2023 – ARC Equator raIIy – 6th position overall, 1st position ARC3 Junior category.