International Automobile Federation President Jean Todt. [Jonah Onyango, Standard]

International Automobile Federation (FIA) President Jean Todt is determined to have more Africans join World Rally Championships (WRC) events.

“When all players compete on an equal level ground gives us an easy opportunity to determine who’s the best,” he said.

According to the FIA boss, African drivers are in need of more sponsorships for them to triumph in top championships.

“When African drivers achieve adequate sponsorship, it will be possible and easier to overcome all what has eluded them over the years as professional drivers,” Toldt said in an interview with Citizen Television, on Wednesday night.

Todt said by achieving adequate sponsorships, it’ll open doors for African drivers to get powerful and competitive machines like their competitors in Europe and Latin America.

While admitting motorsports was an expensive venture, Todt said FIA will try and make it affordable to all global drivers.

This confirms earlier thoughts of Kenya National Rally Championships winner Baldev Chager, former champion Onkar Rai and Eric Bengi, who jointly confirmed at a press conference last week that participation in WRC Global championships was out of reach for many drivers.

“We can only effectively compete against foreign professional drivers when we get adequate sponsorship from original car manufacturers as opposed to using our machines that are purchased from showrooms then modified to fit into FIA’s expectations,” Chager told Standard Sports.

Meanwhile, Todt said he’d ensure South Africa hosts one of the annual WRC Formular One Championships.

“Just like we nominated Kenya to host a WRC event this season, next on course is South Africa to host WRC Formular One Championships,” said the FIA president.

Todt, who is also the United Nations Secretary General Ambassador on Safety, expressed the need for extreme safety measures for drivers and the public during the WRC Safari Rally Championships.

“It gives us (WRC) the confidence and guidance on where to host our events,” he said.

WRC Safari Rally Chief Executive Officer Phineas Kimathi applauded the move to fix sponsorships for African drivers saying it was a step in the right direction for the continent to achieve what the developed world has enjoyed over the years.

“It’ll be an opportunity for local drivers to shape up their careers in the digital motorsports industry by trying to match what had been achieved by (European) world champions,” Kimathi, who is also Kenya Motorsports Federation (KMSF) President, said.

 

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