President Uhuru Kenyatta has said Kenya is adequately prepared to welcome back the World Rally Championship (WRC) Safari Rally which kicks off in a week's time.
Watch Uhuru take Safari Rally car for a ride [Video]
Uhuru stepped into the car with the confidence of a rally driver
He was speaking at State House where he also took time to experience what it feels like to drive a rally car.
At the same time, the President urged Kenyan motorsport enthusiasts who will be attending the four-day Safari Rally to be careful, saying it had taken the country years of negotiations and preparations to bring back the WRC event after an 18-year absence.
"My hope and my prayer is that the manner in which we shall conduct ourselves over the next few days will be such that everybody will accept and understand that the Safari Rally is now here and is here to stay, and we're not likely to lose it.
“But that will depend not only with how you all perform, all the agencies involved will perform but how Kenyans themselves will behave," the President said.
He presented brand new rally cars to young Kenyan drivers Hamza Anwar, McRae Kimathi and Jeremy Wahome.
The three drivers are sponsored for the WRC Safari Rally by Safaricom and Kenya Airways.
Meet the drivers
Following in his father’s footsteps, he has always been passionate about motorsports and he is looking forward to flying the Kenyan flag high.
Youngster McRae Kimathi is also determined to follow in the footsteps of his dad and KMSF President Phineas Kimathi, formerly a former Formula 2 champion and currently CEO of the WRC Safari Project.
Jeremy Wahome who is 22 years old has come a long way from go-karting at the age of 8 to competing in the British Formula three Championship at 18.
Sports CS Amina Mohamed who also spoke at the event, also attended by motorsport veterans Ian Duncan and Carl 'Flash' Tundo, thanked President Kenyatta for his personal involvement in lobbying for the return of the WRC Safari Rally.
"Thank you for bringing the rally back home. We are extremely grateful to you," CS Amina told the President, adding that the return of WRC Safari Rally will re-ignite Kenya's motorsport heritage.
Also present at the handover ceremony were Sports PS Joe Okudo and Safari Rally CEO Phineas Kimathi among other motorsport officials and enthusiasts
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