Being a second generation driver has its ups and downs.
For one, you are always under pressure to go one better than your seniors and you always strive to cement a decent reputation in your rally-sport career.
But for outgoing three times Kenya National Autocross Two Wheel Drive Non-Turbo Buggy Champion Zameer Verje, it’s a steep learning curve.
“Being a second generation driver, you never stop leaning. There is usually that ambitious strength to emulate your predecessors.”
” But then again, there is truly a critical balancing act between performance and survival. The demanding conditions of a rally builds your character time and time again,” Zameer said.
Zameer savoured a maiden WRC Safari finish incidentally on his third rally when he steered his Subaru Impreza to fifth overall position.
“I wish to thank all my fans and friends for the love and support-God took the wheel. I wish to thank Studio AZ, Kenyan Interior Designers, Lipa Later Kenya, Athiani FM, Karen Hospital, Money Cloud, Pewin Motors Limited, David Muriungi Kirigua, EZ Plants. For their support,” Zameer said.
Zameer also: took first position in Division 3 and was overly 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 dad Nazir Verjee took part in the Safari Rally of the old and multiple Kenya National Championships.
“Being born in an environment where cars and mechanics are present is such a great feeling.”
Zameer enjoyed his third rally since his debut in the season- opening KNRC KMSC Rally in Il-Bisil.
“We have had a few teething problems with the car which is normal when getting used to something new,” he said adding: “We missed out on the ARC Equator Rally which was a dry run for the WRC Safari, so missed on the opportunity to feel the route prior. It was definitely the toughest rally that 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 world’s toughest rally. It was a whole new experience for me, and more so seeing how the event gave them a tough time.”
Zameer was enlisted in the Kenya National Rally Championship Class and believes he has come to grips with his Impreza.
“Definitely, my expectations this year are a lot higher than last year after graduating from the Autocross series,” Zameer said..
“I wanted to learn and get used to the car. But the Safari finish meant a lot to my racing career, and I feel I have the confidence to go faster and target decent results.”
Being a second generation driver, Zameer has always craved being a part of fabled Safari Rally.
“Safari Rally is one of my dream races to do on the KNRC series. My predecessors in our family have lots of stories from the event.
“Prior to the event, i had seen several videos with a lot of adventures especially the fesh fesh at Kedong which was red flagged. Safari iconic stages of the old have been exciting: some good sites on the lakeside. It was an amazing experience to take on the legendary routes and rub shoulders with the creme de la creme of the sport that we only see on TV,” says Zameer