Safari Rally 2024: Tanak urges Kenyan children to take up motorsports as a career

Aspiring Kenyan rally drivers during the launch of the Talanta Motorsport Academy at Kasarani Stadium on March 27, 2024. [WRC]

The 2019 World Rally champion Otti Tanak has urged Kenyan youngsters to join motorsports.

Tanak, who spent good time with aspiring drivers (students) from the WRC Kasarani SSS (the opening stage of Safari Rally) neighborhood, told them to set their goals if they wanted to succeed in this rough game.

"You must continue to aim higher and live your dream as a thousand miles journey begins with one step," Tanak, one of the lead drivers of Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team said at the launch of Talanta Motorsports Academy graced by Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua in Kasarani on Wednesday evening.

Gachagua said the initiative marks an important chapter in the history of motorsports in Kenya.

The DP said it was a step towards the promotion of motorsports development and innovation.

Petter Solberg, the 2003 World Rally champion with Subaru, lauded the initiative saying it will put Kenyan drivers on the world map.

"I finished the Safari fifth, twice in 1999 and 2000 and retired in the 2001 and 2002 editions. My advice to aspiring Kenyan drivers is that they should never give up as nothing is impossible," said Petter.

The event was also graced by local rally legends among them Karan Patel, Patrick Njiru, Abdul Sidi and Azar Anwar among others.

Kenyan Motor Sport Federation president Maina Muturi, it was a process of planting a seed of the generation of motorsport family as a way to emulate elite global drivers 

“The future of motorsport belongs to young children and we are not only focusing on the sport but also nurturing them to become serious citizens in their future lives,” Maina quipped.

Kenya Academy of Sports (KAS) Chief Executive Doreen Odhiambo said the platform gives the young people the platform to exploit their talent and that Talanta Motorsport Academy will nurture them to elite level.

FIA Vice-President in charge of Africa Rodrigo Rocha said: “There should be no barrier to engaging in motorsport and this Academy creates an enabling environment for the less privileged children.”

Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba said Kenya cherishes its position on the WRC log and is using the Motorsport Academy as a yardstick to ascertain the next generation of world-beaters.

“We have now opened the door of the Motorsport Academy to children from this neighbourhood of Kasarani and other parts of the country.  Those children will be fully funded to enable them realise their potential in motorsports,” Ababu said. 


By AFP 2 hrs ago
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