Kenya: Zameer’s WRC Safari Rally Dream set to fuel promising rally career
Nairobi — Being a second generation driver has its ups and downs. On the one hand, you are always under pressure to do better than your elders and you always strive to cement a decent reputation in your rally career.
But for outgoing Kenya National Autocross Two Wheel Drive Non-Turbo Buggy three-time champion Zameer Verje, it’s a steep learning curve.
“As a second-generation driver, you never stop leaning. There’s usually that force of ambition to emulate your predecessors.”
“But again, there really is a critical balance between performance and survival. The demanding conditions of a rally build your character time and time again,” Zameer said.
Zameer enjoyed a first WRC Safari finish on his third rally when he took his Subaru Impreza to fifth overall.
He also took the top position in Division 3 and was too excited to beat the two Rally3 Fiestas of Jeremy Wahome and McRae Kimathi.
Zameer comes from a family line of rally drivers. His uncle Mo Verjee and his father Nazir Verjee participated in the Safari Rally of the former and multiple national championships of Kenya.
“Being born in an environment where cars and mechanics are around is such a great feeling.”
Zameer had his third rally since his debut at the KNRC KMSC season-opening rally at Il-Bisil.
“We had some starting issues with the car which is normal when you get used to something new,” he said, adding: “We missed the ARC Equator Rally which was a dry race for the WRC Safari so we missed the opportunity to feel the road ahead.It was definitely the hardest rally I have done as a rally driver.
“But Safari couldn’t have come at a better time when the world beaters were struggling to tackle the toughest rally in the world. It was a whole new experience for me, and more so to see how point the event gave them a hard time.”
Zameer was drafted into the Kenya National Rally Championship class and believes he has mastered his Impreza.
“Certainly my expectations this year are much higher than last year after graduating from the Autocross series,” Zameer said.
“I wanted to learn and get used to the car. But finishing Safari meant a lot to my racing career, and I feel I have the confidence to go faster and aim for decent results.”
As a second generation driver, Zameer always dreamed of being part of the legendary Safari Rally.
“The Safari Rally is one of my dream races to do on the KNRC series. My predecessors in our family have a lot of stories from the event.
“Before the event, I had seen several videos with a lot of adventures, especially the fesh fesh in Kedong which was red flagged. The iconic safari stages of the old were exciting: good sites at the It was an amazing experience tackling the legendary courses and rubbing shoulders with the crème de la crème of this sport that you only see on TV,” says Zameer