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Motoring 101: For the love of speed

Gerald Maina — G. Captain

Logistics and Real — Estate Businessman

1995 Subaru Impreza GC8

Why did you go for this particular car?

I’ve been a rally fan for quite some time now, following it closely since 2008. In the local rally scene in that era, before the Skoda R5 and the like came into it, the scene was dominated primarily by the GC8. Most rally driver’s preferred it as it was very light. I was also inspired by Colin McRae who lit up the international scene with it. It’s a reliable and relatively inexpensive car to maintain when you consider the price of parts and it looks very good. Possibly one of the best looking Subarus ever made. I’ve also owned a standard road-going GC8 and therefore had first-hand experience with it. When I decided to start rallying it was simply natural that I would stick to the model.

What do you love about it?

At the moment I’ve taken part in 3 rallies and an Autocross event and what I can say is that because it is very light it’s easy to get the perfect balance and therefore extract maximum performance from it. Rallying is a very aggressive sport which will break down the car and shatter your dreams and yet so far the car has been very reliable. I haven’t suffered anything along the lines of a major breakdown like blowing the engine or breaking the gearbox.

It started off life as a stock car which my mechanic and I modified to rally spec. It’s a bit special knowing that I was the first to race with it and hadn’t been driven by anyone else before.

Any Drawbacks?

There are no drawbacks with the car to speak of. What I can say is that Rallying is a money intensive sport. There are about 8 races in a year and even if like me you’re driving a less expensive car than the others it still adds up. Even for the few rallies I’ve competed in, it is my friends who have come together to contribute a bit here and there as I still don’t have a corporate sponsor. Even simply preparing the car for a race comes with its costs. There’s also the issue of seat time. In competitive motorsport you have to be one with your machine and the only way to do this is to have as much seat time as possible. I take it out for training almost every weekend to really build on the feel, but again, without a corporate sponsor, the costs add up quickly.

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