Drew Sturrock and Manvir Baryan pop Champagne after Pearl Rally win Credit: John Batanudde

Scotland’s Drew Sturrock has stamped his name at the peak of the Africa Rally Championship (ARC).

The Scottish who calls the notes for Kenya’s Manvir Baryan picked up a third African co-driver’s title this year. 

Sturrock joins Surinder Thatthi and David Sihoka among the multiple ARC co-driver champions, but he remains the only non-African to scoop three titles. 

Kawowo Sports got in touch with Sturrock for a recap of his ARC success. 

Drew Sturrock Credit: Africa Rally Archives

Kawowo Sports: It is now a third ARC title for you. Would you say this was the easiest to win?

Sturrock: Not really! We got a tough fight this season especially in South Africa where we had Fekken taking us on, Leroy and the Kenyan crews pushed us in Zambia as well and then Safari rally which became a big upset for us. But it has really been another good experience.

Kawowo Sports: Just what makes the ARC tick? Could it be the countries, the people or the competition? 

Sturrock: I enjoy the ARC events. They are special in some way. These events have a great social aspect. We get to meet some people once in a year like the guys in Zambia, South Africa. We only get to meet during these events.

We also get to see new things from each event which makes us happy, and we enjoy ourselves.

Sturrock and Manvir in South Africa (Photo: Susan Vacy Lyle)

Kawowo Sports: What is next after another successful season?

Sturrock: Well, we are left with the Kenyan championship. We haven’t won that yet. I think he will try to attempt it. 

Kenya championship matters but ARC has always been the main target, KNRC would be a big bonus.

Kawowo Sports: What are those unforgettable moments in the three years?

Sturrock: I will never forget losing Safari rally victory for the rest of my life. It was an extreme disappointment for us. 

2017 Zambia rally was a bit tough for us. Racing in the heat of around 40 degrees was a bit of a challenge. I cannot forget that. 

The fans have been so good in all events especially in Uganda with such amazing crowds.

Sturrock and Manvir after securing a third position in Safari rally.

Kawowo Sports: Any advice for anyone willing to take on the ARC

Sturrock: Anyone looking to go into ARC, should get someone who can be adaptable to the way different events and organisations work. 

You need to be flexible to know different rules and how different organisers handle issues.

One must know the rules. Most people here take the word of mouth than rules. It doesn’t work that way.

Sturrock and Manvir (Courtesy photo)

Kawowo Sports: Would you recommend a European co-driver for anyone thinking of attempting ARC?

Sturrock: European co-drivers are just like any other. The difference is the experience that we bring to the championship. 

It is just that European co-drivers usually start the game from the grassroots and get a bit of extra experience compared to the people here. 

Africa has good co-drivers. But you just have to get someone that can bond with you. 

Kawowo Sports: Now after conquering Africa, should we expect the crew at bigger stages. Maybe WRC2? 

Sturrock: It would be a big experience for us to try out extra rallies. The WRC is a big commitment and we still have challenges at home to finish first.

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