Alex Kihurani thrilled by Rally Estonia success as he inspires Kenya's next generation of drivers

© Alex Gakuu

MOTORSPORTS Alex Kihurani thrilled by Rally Estonia success as he inspires Kenya's next generation of drivers

Festus Chuma 11:00 - 30.07.2023

Kihurani's expertise last weekend aided Kenyan driver Hamza Anwar in achieving a commendable fifth-place finish in Junior WRC, fostering hope for Kenya's rallying prospects.

American navigator with Kenyan roots Alex Gakuu Kihurani took the rally world by storm last weekend as he partnered with Kenyan driver Hamza Anwar in Rally Estonia.

The dynamic duo showcased their exceptional skills, finishing an impressive fifth in the Junior World Rally Championship aboard a Ford Fiesta Rally 3.

Kihurani's vast experience in the sport, including three previous Rally Estonia outings, proved invaluable in boosting Anwar's pace and performance in the JWRC. 

Despite having only two days' notice to prepare, Kihurani's dedication and prowess on the tracks led to a triumphant finish, making him a mini-celebrity back in Kenya.

Born to a Kenyan father who grew up near Mount Kenya in the serene town of Karatina, Kihurani inherited his love for motorsport.

Relocating to Pennsylvania, USA, in the late 1970s didn't dampen his passion, and he continued to nurture his racing dreams.

His journey into the world of rallying began when he competed in the Susquehannock Trail Performance Rally in 1981, a significant event that left a lasting impression on the then six-year-old Alex.

Over the years, he honed his skills, paving the way for an illustrious career in the rally scene.

Reflecting on his recent success, Kihurani expressed immense pride in supporting the African Junior champion, Hamza Anwar, in the highly competitive JWRC.

"It was an honor to sit with Hamza Anwar and utilize my previous experience in Rally Estonia to elevate his pace and performance in the championship," Kihurani remarked. 

His dedication to mentoring the next generation of Kenyan drivers is evident, and he aims to witness more competitive Kenyan representation in the World Rally Championship (WRC) and further opportunities for himself in the famed Safari Rallies.

The pairing of Kihurani and Anwar has garnered attention not only on the tracks but also in the hearts of Kenyans. 

“Kenya is the origin of my rallying story, and I never thought I could be so valuable to the next promising generation of Kenyan drivers,” he confessed.

Kihurani's expertise was evident throughout the Rally Estonia, where he guided Anwar with precision and finesse.

 Despite the short notice, the duo's chemistry was remarkable, navigating challenging terrains with ease, and demonstrating the potential of Kenyan talent in the global rally circuit. 

Their outstanding performance has sparked hope and excitement in the Kenyan rally community, fueling dreams of a future filled with competitive Kenyan contenders in the WRC.

Looking ahead, the ambitious duo has their sights set on the final leg of the season in Greece, scheduled for September. 

Anwar, who has already competed in Sweden, Croatia, Portugal, and Italy rallies, is eager to cap off the season with another stellar display of driving skill. 

With Kihurani's guidance and their synergy as a team, they are poised to leave an indelible mark on the upcoming event.