Safari Rally: Malik wants to use rally to inspire women

Rally driver Jennifer Malik. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

Jennifer Malik is looking forward to competing in the third leg of the 2024 World Rally Championship (WRC), the Safari Rally for the second time.

The global contest will be held in Naivasha on March 28-31.

Malik is hopeful that her participation will inspire other women to embrace the sport dominated by men.

She is optimistic for a good outcome in Naivasha after landing a sponsorship deal from gaming firm Betika this week.

The support is helping her and her co-drive Margaret Mungai to put their Subaru Impreza into shape ahead of the global motorsports showpiece that will traverse the rough terrains of Nakuru County.

They have planned to give the machine a final test before they travel to Naivasha for the contest.

Malik's journey into major rallying has been growing in the last three years.

She started with the Time Trials and the Go-Kart Series at the Whistling Moran before moving to the Machakos Rallycross Championships where she has helped her side to lift descend accolades before venturing into rallying.

Her hope is that in the coming years, she will be a force to reckon with in the WRC Safari Rally where her aim is to write history by clinching a category.

She is grateful to her sponsors who are working round the clock to ensure that her dreams become valid in the game.

"As an all-female rally team, we have encountered a lot of challenges during the preparations for this event, but this support has lessened the burden. This allows us to compete at our highest levels and we are confident that we are ready to compete with the rest of the world," she said.

Malik pledges to bring joy to her family, fans and sponsors in the Naivasha event after a futile outing last season.

She is quick to opine that visibility of rally as a sport among the women is not good and more needed to be done to attract the gender into the game.

"Rally is a huge sport that should be embraced by all. There is need for proper planning and support by the private sector to help the Government in its quest to popularise rallying in the country," she said.

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