Kenya Airways (KQ) and Safaricom 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 June 23 to June 26, 2022 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).
Safaricom Chief Executive Peter Ndegwa said the company was increasing its support for the programme owing to the success it offered in 2021
“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 Ndegwa.
Kenya Airways Group Managing Director and CEO Allan Kilavuka said the national Carriers’ support for the campaign was to facilitate teams to competitions in Africa and Europe for the next 3 years.
“This year, we have increased our in-kind partnership portfolio to Ksh. 20 million 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 Kilavuka.
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.
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.
The sponsorship comes just days before the 2022 Safari Rally takes place in the country.
A total of 34 drivers led by the current WRC point’s 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.