Young fans mingle with rally stars at Naivasha

Finland’s Kalle Rovanpera navigated by Jonne Halttunen racing on a Toyota Yaris race at Loldia stage during shakedown of WRC Safari Rally at Naivasha on March 27, 2024.


Photo credit: File| Nation Media Group

Young children whose parents could not afford to take them to the spectators stages of the WRC Safari Rally this weekend in Naivasha and Gilgil will remember this year's edition for years to come after being given the opportunity to mingle with the drivers and see the rally cars at close range.

The children as young as five from humble families of Naivasha gathered at the Buffalo Mall for photo opportunities and autograph sessions with the drivers who also took selfies.

The WRC Promoter organised a similar session on Thursday at another mall on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway. He also gave the children branded WRC caps in a bid to make the Safari a more Kenyan affair.

The Promoter and government agencies took the drivers for a games drive at the Mara, another gesture that enchanted the drivers who shared their images with wild animals on their social media handles.

The Promoter has been shooting these scenes which are watched worldwide in the magazine section of his 20 million- subscribers Rally.TV section.

He also teamed up with Safaricom to offer Kenyans an opportunity to subscribe to the channel in conjunction with Safaricom at a 50 percent discounted rate of 119 Euros using the Safaricom app.

These and many other innovative ideas have been used to make this year's Safari a truly global event.

In addition, the drivers have flown in their own social media admins to share their own experiences in Kenya.

Hyundai Motorsports has shown a lot of confidence in local professionals by hiring  Kenyan photojournalists who have also done a splendid job.

Next year's Safari will also see more local service providers enjoy the Safari windfall after a working group appointed by the World Motorsport Council Rally directed the use of some locally available materials instead of importiung them especially in the field of building material.