Friday | 15 May 2020

Safari Rally Kenya return to WRC deferred

The return of Safari Rally Kenya to the FIA World Rally Championship has been delayed until 2021 following agreement between the FIA, WRC Promoter and the Government of Kenya on Friday (15 May).

The decision was reached following discussions between the three parties to protect the health of all those involved in the WRC and in Kenya due to the Covid-19 pandemic, alongside global movement restrictions.

The seventh round of the FIA World Rally Championship was scheduled on 16 - 19 July and its return to the series for the first time since 2002 was eagerly awaited.

WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla said: “We greatly regret this decision but there was unfortunately no choice given the current global situation. The championship has a duty of care to all stakeholders as well as the wider community and this remains our key focus.

“The return of Safari Rally Kenya was due to be one of the highlights of the WRC season and we extend our gratitude to President Uhuru Kenyatta, the Government of Kenya and the entire team at the WRC Safari Rally Project, headed by Phineas Kimathi, which has worked so hard. We look forward to Safari Rally Kenya in 2021.”

Coming up: Co-Driver Week

Coming up: Co-Driver Week

They are the often unsung heroes of the WRC. Occupying a cramped ‘office’, they are the managers, the human sat navs and the ...

Read More

FIA rally director Yves Matton emphasised the effect of the Coronavirus on society across the globe.

“We were all very excited to see the WRC return to Africa and Kenya after 18 years and we are naturally disappointed that it will not happen this year, particularly given all the hard work that has been undertaken by the Kenyan government and organising team.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact in every sphere of society including motorsport and rally, but I hope we will come out stronger after this crisis and we are already looking ahead to the Safari Rally taking place in 2021,” he added.

What to watch this weekend

What to watch this weekend

Sit back and put your feet up as we provide you with another list of essential viewing on WRC+ this weekend.

Read More

Government cabinet secretary Amina Mohamed has been a driving force behind the Safari’s WRC return.

“Postponing the event to 2021 was not a simple decision to make. However, we are cognisant of the present global challenges and assure that the Safari Rally will mark a significant part of our country’s history as was intended for the next three years,” she said.