The Johnnie Walker GP Karting Championship started on Sunday, October 6, 2019 at Whistling Moran. 20 teams battled out for the best time, in order to win a chance to watch live Grand Prix races later in the year. Team Sim-U-Nation topped the races with all its team members recording an average of 1:31 minutes per race. Others who came close were Team Mingati, Speed Gonzales, and Cereal Killers. The team will compete next weekend and the finals will be held on 2nd November.
The 20 teams will be subjected to a month-long competition dubbed Kenya Racing Festival. The Kenya Racing Festival is competition that combines both Go-Kart racing and F1 Virtual Reality Simulation – an F1 simulator takes you through a virtual journey of full F1 experience. The winning team will get to travel to Abu Dhabi for Formula 1 Championship later in the year.
Speaking at the unveil ceremony in Nairobi, KBL Head of Premium Spirits, Grace Nshemeire-Gwaku said that KBL was excited to host the inaugural Kenya Racing Festival competition under its Johnnie Walker Brand.
“The final 20 teams were selected from over 80 hopeful teams across the country in a grueling qualifier held at Whistling Moran. Tonight, we present to you these 20 teams that will compete amongst each other to beat the fastest time. We believe this is an exciting chapter for Kenya to show the world that there are Go Kart champions in this part of the world and Johnnie Walker is proud to sponsor them,” said Mrs Nshemeire-Gwaku.
She added, “This competition affirms KBL’s position as the leading alcoholic beverage company in East Africa, while at the same time strengthening the historical connections that the Walker family has with the world of motorsport and Grand Prix racing which go back to the 1950s.”
The decision to leverage Formula 1 sport is to tap to it growing popularity in Kenya and marrying it with Diageo premiumization trends.
“This is the coming together of two globally acclaimed brands. Formula 1 is the perfect fit for Johnnie Walker, whose purpose is to connect with premium consumers. This association will enable Johnnie Walker to greatly extend its reach to F1 fans,” added Mrs Nshemeire-Gwaku.