Young rally driver Hamza backed by navigator to go far in career

NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 20 – Kenyan rally navigator Adnan Din believes young rally driver Hamza Anwar will be one of the greatest in the sport in coming years.

Din pinpointed Hamza’s quickness on the wheel as the youngster’s greatest asset that will take him to higher levels of his motorsport career in the future.

“I must admit that we have gelled really well. I have always said that Hamza is one of the quickest young drivers in Africa at the present, so I have very high expectations of him this weekend,” Din said.

The duo will be in action tomorrow when the Africa Rally Championship Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally revs off.

Din is hopeful their prior experience of competing on the gravel terrain will work to their advantage.

“Experience will definitely play out in Rwanda. But then again, we have to remain consistent. It’s been an amazing journey navigating the FIA Rally Stars. I have personally enjoyed every bit of it, and of course,” he said.

Young rally driver Hamza backed by navigator to go far in career
Navigators Tauseef Khan and Adnan Din ahead of the ARC Rwanda Gorilla Mountain Rally. PHOTO/COURTESY

Ready to help

Another navigator hoping to leverage on his experience to claim glory in Rwanda is Victor Okundi who will be a co-driver Jeremy Wahome.

Wahome will be debuting in the rally and Okundi says he will use his knowledge of the terrain to help his driver achieve a podium finish.

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“Being a navigators’ rally, experience is definitely going to come in handy for the team. As a crew, it’s our second season with Jeremiah. I am glad that we have gelled really well and I think I expect a lot of fun from Rwanda,” Okundi said.

He is further hopeful of fast times in the East African country albeit he noted the aspect of culture shock in Rwanda for many of the competitors.

“From the many videos that we have been analysing, it’s a really fast rally with many long straights and wide roads.  Off the rally environment, there is quite a bit of some culture shock especially for the slow speeds witnessed on the public roads where you really have to keep it below 60kph,” he remarked.

Another podium loading

Equally hopeful of good fortunes in Rwanda is Mwangi Kioni who will be navigating Junior World Rally Championships star McRae Kimathi.

Kioni said the key to excelling in the race will be experienced navigators who know the terrain like the back of their hands.

Young rally driver Hamza backed by navigator to go far in career
McRae Kimathi and his navigator Mwangi Kioni with President Uhuru Kenyatta. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“Between us navigators, we’ve competed on vastly different conditions in Rwanda, so we have good knowledge of how the gravel situation plays out. I do believe navigator input will be key, especially for those who have done the event before,” he said.  

He added: “All in all, it will also boil down to good preparations. We have done Rwanda once before; we did it last year and I realise the stages are still the same. Basically, it’s a very quick event. We racked up a podium place here last year in third overall position, so we hope we can repeat the same this weekend especially after a bad run in ARC Tanzania.”

Wahome, Hamza and McRae are part of the FIA Rally Star, a programme that seeks to identify and nurture young talents in motorsport across the world.

During the Rwandese leg, the programme – sponsored by Safaricom and Kenya Airways – will pilot the state-of-the-art M-Sport Poland rally car.

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The model has been prepared by Ford Fiestas and classified under Rally3 in the 2022 FIA Rally Pyramid.

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