Kenya’s national carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) and Safaricom (NSE: SCOM) have announced an extension of the FIA Rally Stars partnership to support four Kenyan drivers who have been selected for the FIA Rally Star Programme. The four will participate in this year’s Safari Rally that will take place from 23rd to 26th June and is part of the World Rally Championship (WRC).
The four drivers who have been selected for the programme are Jeremy Wahome (23), Hamza Anwar (23), McRae Kimathi (27) and Maxine Wahome (25).
“We are excited to be part of this historic event that is an important part of our country’s sporting calendar. Last year’s event was a huge success and helped advance the talent of three youngsters in motorsport under the FIA Rally Star Programme. This year, we are glad to add Maxine Wahome to the stable of drivers who will get an opportunity to showcase their talents on a global stage. We are also happy to increase our sponsorship amount to KES 25 million for this year’s FIA Rally Star Programme”, said Peter Ndegwa, CEO, Safaricom.
“As Kenya’s national carrier and the Pride of Africa, we take pride in being the official airline partner and more importantly being part of the journey to develop the next generation of competitive rally drivers from Kenya through the “FIA Rally Star” initiative. This year, we have increased our in-kind partnership portfolio to Ksh. 20million a year for the next 3 years. This is not a cash sponsorship. Our support will facilitate the young rally drivers, their support teams and officials to travel to competitions in Africa and Europe over the next 3 years.” said Allan Kilavuka, Group MD and CEO, Kenya Airways.
The FIA Rally Star Programme is a global initiative that aims to identify, train and develop talented young drivers of between 17-27 years. All the four young drivers sponsored by Safaricom, and Kenya Airways will feature in M-Sport Ford Fiesta machines during next week’s Safari Rally event.
Last year, Safaricom and Kenya Airways sponsored Jeremy, McRae and Anwar as they took part FIA-funded programme which organises competitions to identify the most promising rallying talent.
During last year’s Safari Rally, Jeremy and Anwar finished in 16th and 25th positions respectively, with McRae retiring at the final stage due to a mechanical problem.
A total of 34 drivers led by the current WRC points leader Kalle Rovanpera have been confirmed for the 2022 Safari Rally according to the list released to by the event’s secretariat. Other key drivers who will feature in this year’s rally at Naivasha are Katsutsa Takamoto of Japan, Neuville Thiery of Belgium, Tanak Ott of Estonia and youngster Solberg Olver of Sweden.