Kenyan driver Hamza Anwar content with improvements after second ARC Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally

Kenya's Hamza Anwar during the ARC Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally.

Kenyan driver Hamza Anwar content with improvements after second ARC Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally

Joel Omotto 16:55 - 13.05.2024

Kenyan junior Hamza Anwar finished third at the ARC Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally and he is delighted with the progress he is making.

Kenya’s 2023 Junior WRC contender Hamza Anwar believes his current good form in motor rallying is a sign of better things to come.

The son of veteran Kenyan driver Asad Anwar won the ARC Junior category in the weekend’s ARC Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally in Jinja incidentally on his maiden outing in the Ford Fiesta R5.

Hamza, nephew to Safari legend Azar Anwar, savoured an amazing start to the season in Uganda where he finished third overall behind winner and compatriot Karan Patel (Skoda Fabia R5) and Uganda’s very own Jas Mangat in a Hyundai i20 Rally2.

“It’s been a hot weekend and a difficult rally, surprisingly, I didn’t finish here in 2022. So, my aim was just to get the car to end and I’m very happy about my improvements and maturity. You know, I’m starting to finish rallies which is a good sign,” said Hamza.

Asked about the upgrade from a Group N contraption to a Rally3 and eventually R5, which is a step below the WRC car, Hamza continued: “Definitely, it’s been a steep learning curve jumping out of the mentality of the Evolution X that I have been pushing forever so long. But amazing, I’m very thankful to my dad, of course for giving me the opportunity, also a big a big thank you to GoPro Safaricom, Africa Eco Services, Kenya Airways for all the support.”

Hamza is defending the ARC Junior title that he has held over the last two seasons. Last year, fast-rising Hamza-christened “Problem Child” by Uganda fans, ran a full season of the Junior WRC and a partial campaign in WRC3.

“It’s a steep learning curve. The Rally2 world is very different, the braking, everything, so we were getting used to the car and I didn’t have a pre-event test that would help me a little bit, unfortunately, because it was a last-minute decision to drive the Fiesta after GoPro confirmed their sponsorship,” he added.

Asked to explain what the podium finish in the season-opener means in an event that attracted over 30 entrants and in a car that he had never sat in before, Hamza said: “It means a lot, it's nice to come third and it just tells us we are almost there.”

“What’s remaining is a little bit of polishing up, here and there and we are going to beat the big boys. So, baby steps for now, I’m not going to rush myself. I’m going to familiarise myself with the car and God knows how long it will take for me to be up there.”