NAIROBI, Kenya, February 5 – Former Kenya National Rally champion Azar Anwar is going for nothing short than regaining the title when the championship starts this weekend with the Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Biashara Banking rally in Eldoret.Azar who was named 2008 Kenya Motorsport Personality of the year a fortnight ago said on Tuesday that he hopes his newly acquired Mitsubishi EVO 8 will be able to survive the battering of one the championship’s toughest rounds.
“Our focus is to win the championship, there’s no doubt about that which is why I have bought a new car season this season,” said Anwar who will roll off of the ramp in fourth place on Sunday.
“I couldn’t manage to get an EVO 9 and the car which I have now was previously involved in an accident. But I hope the abilities of my team that brought me previous championships and their ability to build the car really well will help me later on in the season if I don’t manage it on Sunday,” added Anwar.
Anwar who last season finished third overall in the Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) acknowledged that the task this weekend will be more challenging due to the fact that he hasn’t had an opportunity to test the new EVO.
“I would have been much happier if I had been able to drive the car and get used to it”, said Anwar.
“It’s a very different car from the one I have. It has special parts like a crash gear box, different suspension and some special electronics. I haven’t gotten used to it yet but I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hope that I will be able to test it before the rally,” he added.
Anwar believes that the withdrawal of defending KNRC champion Baldev Chager and last year’s runner up Lee Rose from this weekend’s rally has taken some of the gloss of the race.
“The KNRC is not going to be the same without Boldy (Chager) and Lee Rose who is without doubt the fastest driver in Kenya and I pray that they can quickly come back in to the championship because they add so much value to it,” said the veteran driver.
“Rose in particular is without doubt the fastest driver in Kenya. He has won more stages than all of us and I pray that both Boldy and Lee can find new corporate sponsors and come back because they add so much value to the championship,” added Anwar.
More corporate sponsorship according to Anwar will help rally drivers particularly the upcoming ones to deal with the challenges currently affecting motorsport.
“What we need is more corporate support in order to for us and other young drivers to be able to afford participation,” said Anwar who together with his brother Asad race for the Oil Libya team.