US navigator with Kenyan roots Kihurani remembers father's passion for racing and unbreakable bond

© Alex Gakuu

MOTORSPORTS US navigator with Kenyan roots Kihurani remembers father's passion for racing and unbreakable bond

Festus Chuma 18:00 - 23.08.2023

American navigator shares heartfelt tribute to his father's motorsport journey, highlighting passion, legacy, and a tragic farewell on the track.

In the world of motorsport, stories of dedication, passion, and legacy are woven into the fabric of its history. 

Such is the story of Gakuu Kihurani, a man whose love for racing transcended continents and generations. 

Through the heartfelt words of his son, an American navigator with Kenyan roots Alex Kihurani Gakuu, we are granted a poignant glimpse into a life that was lived with unrelenting enthusiasm, a pursuit of dreams, and an unbreakable bond between father and son.

Tragedy has a way of making us reflect on the intricate tapestry of life, and on that fateful Saturday, tragedy struck the Kihurani family in the most heart-wrenching manner. Gakuu Kihurani met an untimely end while pursuing his passion for racing in the Duryea Hillclimb.

The impact of his Mitsubishi Evo against a tree abruptly cut short a life that had been marked by a relentless pursuit of motorsport excellence.

Alex Kihurani, in his moving narrative on a long Facebook post tribute, takes us on a journey through his father's life, a journey that began in Kenya and culminated in the hills of America. 

© Alex Gakuu

Gakuu's story is one of aspirations that transcended continents, as he moved to the United States from Kenya in 1977, driven by a fervent desire to compete in the renowned Safari Rally. The dream, although unfulfilled in his homeland due to financial constraints, found fertile ground on American soil.

Upon arriving in the US, Gakuu's passion for motorsport continued to burn brightly. He embarked on a journey that saw him purchase his first car, a Fiat that carried the legacy of a Safari Rally-winning model.

 Rally after rally, he honed his skills, sometimes navigating with a touch of questionable precision, yet always fueled by his unyielding dedication.

Alex's account paints a vivid picture of a father who was not only deeply immersed in motorsport but was also an inspiration to his children.

© Alex Gakuu

 The memories of hiking to vantage points along the rally routes, catching fleeting glimpses of Gakuu's racing prowess, are etched in Alex's mind. It was a childhood steeped in the exhilarating aroma of gasoline and the thrill of the race.

As the years passed, Gakuu's determination saw him evolve from a Fiat owner to building his very own race car, a Dodge Colt. This marked a turning point in his journey, a testament to the tireless pursuit of a dream that had grown with him. The Dodge Colt became a canvas for his passion, a vessel through which he expressed his dedication to the sport he loved.

His garage became a haven for Mitsubishi/DSM parts, a testament to his unwavering loyalty to the brand. His ultimate dream was realized when he acquired the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, a car that symbolized not only power and performance but also his deep emotional connection to the world of motorsport.

The bond between father and son is often defined by shared experiences, and Alex and Gakuo Kihurani's connection was no different.

 Racing became the thread that wove their lives together, a tapestry of shared moments that held them close even when they were miles apart. Despite the geographical distance, their spirits remained intertwined as they pursued their respective racing careers, Alex in the European Rally Championship and Gakuu in local hillclimbs.

Tragedy struck on a day that was meant to be celebratory, Gakuu's 66th birthday. As Alex battled through technical difficulties on the rally stage in the Czech Republic, he received a call that shattered his world. Gakuu had lost control of his beloved Evo on the very hillclimb that had been a backdrop to their shared passion. The impact with a tree robbed Alex of the chance to bid his father a final goodbye.

In the face of such profound loss, Alex's narrative takes on a poignant tone of gratitude and remembrance. He reflects on the extraordinary transformation he witnessed in his father over the past year, a transformation that brought them closer than ever before. 

Gakuu, once reserved and private, evolved into a beacon of support and love, embracing every moment with his family and relishing in their company.

The Safari Rally, a legendary event that held a special place in both their hearts, became a symbol of their shared journey. In a beautiful twist of fate, Alex competed in the rally, fulfilling a dream that Gakuu had nurtured for himself.

 The circle was completed as they drove over the ceremonial start ramp, a moment that held the weight of generations striving for a common goal.

Gakuu Kihurani's story serves as a reminder that age is no barrier to pursuing one's passions. He exemplified a spirit that thrived on adventure, learning, and growth, regardless of the years that had passed. 

His legacy lives on through the memories he created, the bonds he nurtured, and the passion he ignited in his children.

As the motorsport community mourns the loss of Gakuu Kihurani, they also celebrate a life lived to the fullest. The narrative of a father's love for racing and a son's heartfelt tribute reminds us of the enduring power of shared passions and the profound impact of a life well lived.