NAIROBI, Kenya, Sept. 20 (Reuters) – Kenyan rally navigator Adnan Din believes young rally driver Hamza Anwar will be one of the greats in the sport for years to come.
Din cited Hamza’s speed behind the wheel as the youngster’s greatest asset, one that will take him to higher levels of his motorsport career in the future.
“I have to admit that we grew really well together. I’ve always said that Hamza is one of the fastest young riders in Africa right now, so I have very high expectations for him this weekend,” said Din.
The duo will be in action tomorrow when the Africa Rally Championship Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally gets underway.
Din hopes his previous experience of competing on gravel terrain will work to his advantage.
“Experience will definitely come into play in Rwanda. But on the other hand, we have to be consistent. It has been an amazing journey navigating the FIA Rally Stars. I personally enjoyed every bit of it, and of course,” he said.
ready to help
Another navigator hoping to use his experience to find glory in Rwanda is Victor Okundi, who will be co-driver with Jeremy Wahome.
Wahome will debut in the rally and Okundi says he will use his knowledge of the terrain to help his driver achieve a podium finish.
“As this is a navigator rally, the experience will definitely come in handy for the team. As a crew, this is our second season with Jeremiah. I’m glad we got along really well and I think I expect a lot of fun from Rwanda,” said Okundi.
He continues to hope for fast times in the East African country, although he noted the culture shock aspect of Rwanda for many of the participants.
“From the many videos we’ve analyzed, it’s a really fast rally with a lot of long straights and wide roads. Away from the rally environment there is quite a culture shock, especially for the slow speeds on public roads where you really have to stay under 60km/h,” he remarked.
Another podium load
Also hoping for luck in Rwanda is Mwangi Kioni, who will drive Junior World Rally Championship star McRae Kimathi.
Kioni said the key to excelling in the race is experienced navigators who know the terrain like the back of their hand.
“Between us navigators, we competed in Rwanda under very different conditions, so we know very well how the gravel situation is developing. I believe navigator input will be key, especially for those who have done the event before,” he said.
He added: “Overall it will also come down to good preparation. We’ve done Rwanda before; We did it last year and I realize the stages are still the same. Basically, it’s a very fast event. We took a podium here last year third overall so we’re hoping to do that again this weekend, especially after a bad run at ARC Tanzania.”
Wahome, Hamza and McRae are part of the FIA Rally Star, a program that aims to identify and nurture young motorsport talent around the world.
During the Rwanda stage, the program sponsored by Safaricom and Kenya Airways will pilot the state-of-the-art M-Sport Poland rally car.
The model was prepared by Ford Fiestas and classified under Rally3 in the 2022 FIA Rally Pyramid.