Motorsport body turns focus on grassroots programmes

As part of efforts to promote Motorsport in Rwanda, Rwanda Automobile Club (RAC) has set plans to revolutionise the sport with new programmes starting next season.

The new programmes include; Virtual Rally (online racing championship) for schools, introduction of Karting and X-Cars in Rwanda, increasing the number of crews in rally events and joining the East and Central Africa Enduro championship.

The local motorsport governing body also plans to organise two Enduro events in late 2019.

Enduro is a popular form of motorcycle sport run on extended cross-country, off-road courses, and can feature different categories in one event including juniors and female riders.

While speaking to Saturday Sport on Friday, RAC president Christian Gakwaya emphasised that online championship will be organised to detect talent with ten units of equipment to be secured to start a competition that will rotate in schools to nurture talents from the grassroot.

“The age target for the online racing championship will range between 6-10 years, next up will be the juniors Karting championship category featuring the ages between 8-17 years. The third category will be the X-Cars championship for rising drivers aged 17 and above to start in 2020.”

Gakwaya also pointed out that, the essence is to have more than one development programmes from grassroot level in each category of the local Motorsport arena.

Go Karting (Go-Kart) was launched in Rwanda for the first time in August, by RAC, at the end of a three-day motorsport conference and workshop that was also attended by FIA President Jean Todt and his deputy Graham Stoker in Kigali.

The move to introduce X-Car and grassroots activities is to encourage more entries, create fun and spread it to different parts of the country while – at the same time – trying to make it more affordable for all.

The motorsport fraternity also seeks to acquire land and construct a permanent circuit. By having a facility and training area they call their own, RAC hopes to strengthen the local championship, attract large numbers of crews, and bring on board new partners.

“The initiative is also in line with the sport regulation,” he noted, adding that “Just the way Motorsport activities are organised inside private properties in Kenya, Zambia and many other countries.”

At the August FIA Congress, discussions centered on championship restructuring and strengthening the commercial aspect of the African Rally Championship (ARC).

It is reported that the Kenyan Safaris Rally has been granted a World Rally Championship (WRC) badge, and if its 2019 edition impresses FIA international observers, the event will be confirmed as part of the 2020 WRC calendar.

 

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

 

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