Rwanda Automobile Club (RAC) in collaboration with the International Automobile Federation (FIA) Institute is set to hold a young drivers’ academy from tomorrow through to September 27 at Amahoro Stadium.
Trainers from Motorsport Association UK (MSA) will be in charge of the training that is aimed at teaching young drivers between 18-21 years the basics and fundamentals of motorsport.
Rwanda Automobile Club (RAC) president Christian Gakwaya told Times Sport that, “We are trying to build professional drivers because most of the drivers who are involved in rally right now joined because they love the sport.”
He further explained that, “If we start with 18 year olds who are taught by experts who run academies in the UK then we know that they will get the right knowledge.”
The recruitment has attracted 10 college students from Kigali and two guests from Burundi who will undergo both theory and practical lessons in the grassroot programme that will focus on basic knowledge about rally that will include handling a rally car and fitness sessions among others.
Gakwaya revealed that the top two students will then be taken to the UK for another one or two weeks course that will take them to the next level.
This pilot project worth $75,000 is the first of its kind in Africa after the world governing body was impressed with RAC’s action plan. FIA Institute are in charge of grassroot development of the sport and safety.
He explained that, “We applied and the FIA liked our presentation and action plan because it was progressive. They trusted our action plan for the club and sport in Rwanda.”
Gakwaya also disclosed that RAC hopes that these young drivers will be able to join the championship in one or two years.
“This year we have 25 licensed drivers and navigators combined and we are targeting to have at least 40 licensed by 2017 with 30% under 23 years,” emphasized Gakwaya.
RAC had done several trainings at a local level in the past but this is the first time they have FIA accredited trainers to teach the young drivers.
South Africa has in the past held a training session for young drivers but it was at a continental level.
List of young drivers
Kamal Bashir Zameer, Jullie Mayaka Lakaso, Gaetan Rutabingwa, Conrad Gahima, Randy Muyenzi, Ange Colombe Mfuranzima, Brian Murengezi, Christophe Nizette, Yves Dushimire, Freddy Kanani.