•Kenya Airways has partnered with FIA and WRC Safari Rally Kenya for the prestigious FIA Rally Star programme
•The partnership includes transportation of the team to Europe and beyond for training and profiling of the teams globally through the KQ network and assets
•The FIA-funded programme organizes competitions to detect the most promising rallying talent
Kenya’s national carrier, Kenya Airways (KQ), has partnered with the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and WRC Safari Rally Kenya to unveil their selection for the prestigious FIA Rally Star programme.
The three young Kenyan drivers selected include McRae Kimathi (26), Hamza Anwar (22), and Jeremy Wahome (22) who will join the global programme and battle it out in the upcoming Safari Rally slated for June 24-27.
KQ CEO Allan Kilavuka said they were attracted to the programme's core goal of nurturing and growing budding talent in motorsport.
“Our partnership with the FIA Rally Star program is an exciting one, as it aims to attract and grow young local talent. For years, KQ has been a loyal supporter of various rallying events including the East African Safari Classic Rally and the Safari Rally. The return of the World Rally Championship to Kenya is incredibly nostalgic and we are committed to supporting the growth of fresh talent within the rallying community," Allan Kilavuka, Chief Executive Officer at Kenya Airways, said.
The FIA partnership with KQ will include transportation of the team to Europe and beyond for training and profiling of the teams globally through the KQ network and assets.
Kilavuka said the partnership is the beginning of the national airline's plan to help grow young talents in the motorsport arena.
"This sponsorship is further important because it cements our footprint as a long-standing supporter of sports development on the continent including rugby, golf, athletics, volleyball, and, of course, motorsports. We truly look forward to supporting the rise of a new generation of rally drivers and are proud to be there as they embark on this next chapter of their careers,” he said.
WRC Safari Rally CEO Mr. Phineas Kimathi lauded Kenya Airways for their sports sponsorship novelty towards the FIA Rally star programme.
“This program presents an exciting opportunity for young drivers to gain vital experience. The FIA Rally Star Programme is the most cost-effective way for any young budding driver to get onto the world stage. Our long-term goal is to attract more young drivers to the sport and in time, enable them to graduate to the senior category for Kenya. This is a special moment for the local rallying community, and we are proud to witness Hamza, Jeremy and McRae become the faces of the next generation of competitive rally drivers thanks to KQ,” Kimathi said.
McRae Kimathi will be navigated by Shameer Yusuf while Riyaz Ismail will navigate Hamza Anwar. Jeremy Wahome will be navigated by Victor Okundi.
Across the world, this FIA-funded programme organizes competitions to detect the most promising rallying talent.
Those identified benefit from world-class training and mentorship, nurturing a new generation of drivers with the ultimate aim of kick-starting their professional career worldwide within the Junior World Rally Championships.