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Local driver Malik completes reparing of his Evo 10 after landing it in a ditch

By , People Daily Digital
Wednesday, June 9th, 2021 00:00 | 2 mins read
Rally driver Hussein Malik (right) with his navigator Linet Ayuko in their repaired Evo 10 car when they were unveiled among the four Betika-sponsored drivers ahead of the WRC Safari Rally. Photo/PD/EDWIN OTIENO

Edwin Otieno

With 18-days to the much awaited World Rally Championships (WRC) Safari Rally, local driver Hussein Malik is excited and raring to go after fine tuning his Mitsubishi Evolution 10, which needed a lot of repairs after he had an accident during the Equator Rally on the same route that would be used during the rally.

On the first day of the Africa Rally Championships (ARC) Equator Rally, Malik navigated by Linet Ayuko plunged into a ditch  at the Soysambu stage, to end their quest for the race prematurely, even before the end of the first loop.

“During the Equator Rally we were trending for the wrong reasons after our car entered a ditch and while the car was still in the ditch and Linet and I had been rescued, we were standing next to it and wondered what would happen, since the WRC Safari Rally was coming and we did not have a car.

Three weeks later we got a call from Betika who asked us to be among their four sponsored drivers and we felt they were God sent as they helped repair the car and now we are ready for action,” Malik told People Sport.

Malik who was 10th in the 2019 Kenya National Rally Championships, is an entrepreneur operating a vehicle spare parts business.

The state of their rally car after the accident in Naivasha during the Equator Rally. PD/ EDWIN OTIENO

He has been a motor sports enthusiast for many years, starting off as a service crew member and progressing into a rally driver over a span of eight years.

He was mentored by national rally champions Azar Anwar and record Safari Rally winner Baldev Chager.

Subaru legacy

“I made my debut in rallying in 2012 where I finished 13th overall during the Guru Nanak Rally in a Subaru Impreza,” said Malik.

He added: “ We started rallying in a Subaru Legacy, which is a mid-size vehicle introduced by the Japanese manufacturer Subaru in February 1989.

After two years of rallying with a Subaru Impreza introduced in 1994 by the Subaru world rally team, we have now advanced to a newer and more superior car Mitsubishi Evolution 6 to keep up with the pace and technology of Modern rally.

In 2019 we are proud to unveil our new car a Mitsubishi Evo X professionally build in Canada, to keep up in the sport and be competitive.”

His navigator Ayuko whom they seem to be enjoying a good chemistry with, is a rally enthusiast and passionate about making a difference.

She has gained experience while navigating some of Kenya’s top talents for the past 10 years and awarded for the same.

During the 2019 Safari Rally she was the leading female in Kenya. She won the 2015 SPV Naviga- tor championship award, finished the second highest in 2014 and was also awarded the ladies award in 2013.