Friday | 05 Jul 2019

Kenya prepared for big weekend

The potential for a Safari Rally return to the World Rally Championship comes a step closer with this week’s candidate event in Kenya.

The rally opens with a superspecial stage in the Kenyan capital Nairobi this Friday, before the focus switches to the service park alongside Lake Naivasha – the base for the weekend’s action.

More than 51 crews will tackle a 14-stage route which encompasses 786 kilometres, 256 of which are competitive through the Great Rift Valley. The event finishes at 14:00 (local time) on Sunday.

The Safari Rally, one of motorsport’s most iconic events, hasn’t run in the WRC since 2002.

The nature of the rally has evolved to fit the modern-day WRC, but the character of the event remains just as it was, with challenging roads, epic backdrops and the essential African wildlife.

The desire to see the WRC back in Africa comes from the very top of Kenyan politics, with the nation’s president Uhuru Kenyatta saying: “We want to get the rally back to what it used to be many years back, when world beaters converged in Kenya for what was the world’s toughest rally. We will work together with the organisation running motorsports (Kenya Motor Sports Federation) to see how we can give Safari its lost WRC glory.”

This week’s candidate rally is the culmination of the Kenya Motor Sports Federation’s preparations for a WRC return.

Representatives from the manufacturers WRC teams will attend the event along with officials from the FIA and WRC Promoter.


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