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Thu 28 Mar 2024

Talanta Motorsport Academy launched to cultivate Kenyan rally talent

The Talanta Motorsport Academy was officially unveiled ahead of Safari Rally Kenya on Wednesday (28 March), marking a significant milestone for the future of Kenyan motorsport.

Led by the Kenya Academy of Sports, the Talanta Motorsport Academy’s primary aim is to discover and nurture young motorsport talent while also advancing sports research.

With a capacity to host over 500 children, the academy offers a platform for budding talents, particularly those from underprivileged backgrounds, to develop their skills and pursue careers in the highly competitive world of rallying.

Wednesday’s inauguration ceremony, held at Nairobi's Kasarani Stadium ahead of this third round of the 2024 FIA World Rally Championship, attracted notable figures including Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua and Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba.

It also welcomed esteemed WRC personalities including Ott Tänak, Oliver Solberg, Petter Solberg, President of the WRC Commission Pernilla Solberg and WRC Promoter’s Senior Director of Sport Peter Thul.

Deputy President Gachagua emphasised the government's commitment to nurturing home-grown talent through the academy, saying: “The Talanta Motorsport Academy, to be housed at the Kenya Academy of Sports, captures the Ruto Administration's sole endeavour to refine talented individuals and make them extra competitive globally. Our young rally drivers will benefit from the best counsel, knowledge and guidance through this Academy to conquer the World Rally Championship.

“As the 71st Safari Rally Edition kicks off, we look ahead to the best World Rally Championship, especially now that it is being held in the traditional Easter Season,” he added.

Also present was the FIA Vice President for Sport – Africa, Rodrigo Rocha, who highlighted the significance of the Talanta Motorsport Academy in aligning with the core values of the FIA.

“The Talenta Motor Sport Academy is a fantastic example of giving a platform for young prospects to demonstrate their potential at grassroots level,” he explained. “We’re here to engage with racing enthusiasts and build pathways for them to motor sport at all levels.

“Whether that’s by getting behind the wheel, changing a gearbox, waving a chequered flag, or racing your friends online, the point is motor sport is accessible for all.”

Safari Rally Kenya begins today (Thursday) in Nairobi. Ahead lie 19 gruelling special stages around Lakes Naivasha and Elmenteita covering 367.76km before Sunday afternoon's finish in Naivasha.