WRC Safari Rally: Buoyant Amwari out for a respectable finish in the rally

Issa Amwari right and his navigator Jim Njiru after receiving sponsorship from betting company BetNare ahead of Thursday's Rally Championship, Safari Rally in Naivasha. [Courtesy]

Former Kenya National Rally Championships Division Two champion Issa Amwari will be out for a respectable finish in the seventh leg of the World Rally Championship (WRC), the Safari Rally, that revs-off on Thursday in Naivasha.

Amwari says his aim is to not only finish the rally but to better his 25th place finish last season.

He is confident of achieving this objective after landing on sponsors BetNare who are supporting him to ply trade in the global showpiece.

Amwari says the financial boost from the gaming firm has come at an opportune time and will play a big part in enhancing his performance in the contest.

"I appreciate the good gesture from my new sponsors.

"I will be driving in their colours and I hope with this financial support I will be able to go all the way to the finishing ramp," Amwari told Standard Sports.

Amwari and his long-term navigator Jim Njiru are keen to improve their timing in the contest, a fact that drove them to do several test drives with their machine ahead of the championship.

They will pilot a Mitsubishi Lancet Evolution 10 road warrior which they have panel beaten to shape to withstand the tough Naivasha terrains and comply with the world motorsports governing body FIA standards.

"The car is in good shape. My works team have been burning the midnight oil to ensure we are ready for the rally," Amwari stated.

Amwari kick started his rallying career in 2010 behind the wheel of a Subaru hatchback and upgraded to an Evolution 9 in 2013 before racking up a career-best fifth on Nakuru Rally in 2014.

In 2016, he acquired his current Evolution X machine and three years later, went one better by chalking up another career-best fourth on the Eldoret event.

Amwari entered seven events in 2019 and finished four in the top 10 - ninth in Kilifi, sixth in Nanyuki and eighth in Nakuru.

This will be his third time shot at the WRC.

In 2021, he was forced out of the global showpiece on technicalities just a day to the competition.

"Lack of a FIA approved fuel tank smoked out my dream in 2021.

"The fuel tank arrived in the morning of the scrutineering so it could not be fixed in time," he explained.

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