How much is costs to buy a rally car and maintain it @KenyanTraffic
For most rallying fans, the thrill from attending the high-octane events is a visual spectacle. Behind the scenes, however, is a lot of blood, sweat and tears invested into the rally cars to get them ready to roar on the road.
Acquiring a rally car, is the easiest part as maintenance and upgrades become difficult without deep pockets.
Many drivers spend millions of shillings to prepare their cars for rallies and to repair them after races.
Aside from the cost of purchasing and maintaining the car, drivers also have to grapple with the Sh200,000 licensing fee and Sh14,000 entry fees for rallies.
“Motorsport is something that never ends in terms of preparation. You’re always working on the car. You rally with your car, come back and modify, repair, keep looking for parts like better rims, better suspensions. You’re always trying to improve the car so it is a continuous struggle,” says Azar Anwar, one of the rally’s greats in the last two decades.
The sport, as costly as is, has managed to grow owing to ever increasing corporate partnerships and goodwill from drivers who keep a good relationship with each other.
Speed queen Helen Shiri, for instance, recalls how a group of local drivers chipped in to help her participate in her first two rallies three years ago, when she decided to ditch navigation for a life behind the wheel.
Starting a rally career costs a minimum of Sh1 million and could go up depending on the car model and modifications.
“You can buy a rally-ready Subaru Impreza GC8 for anything between Sh500,000 to Sh800,000 depending on the type of suspension installed in it. The big boys in the Kenya National Rally Championship use cars that cost up to Sh8 million,” says Eric Njogu, who finished eighth overall in this year’s Safari Rally in his Subaru Legacy.
Also, what revs up the costs is importation of spare parts.