Wed 21 Jun 2023

President Ruto flags off Safari Rally Kenya’s 70th edition

Kenyan President William Ruto was on hand in Naivasha, Kenya on Wednesday to wave off the 70th edition of Safari Rally Kenya (22 - 25 June), before being given a front-row experience to the FIA World Rally Championship.

Accompanied by Sport Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba, Ruto first visited the rally’s service park near Lake Naivasha and mingled with crews before strapping himself into the co-driver’s seat of Pierre-Louis Loubet’s M-Sport Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid for a high-speed run through shakedown.

Ruto, who will return to the event on Sunday to celebrate with the winners at Hell's Gate, was taken aback by the experience.

“I don’t know what to say, that thing is crazy!” he beamed, gesturing towards Loubet’s Puma. “Absolute madness - but it is an experience you cannot forget. The sheer speed, you can hardly see the road, you can hardly see the bend. These guys are really professional, it’s a life-changing adventure.”

Ruto went on to emphasise the countrywide impact WRC is having on Kenya, adding: “It is not just about the rally car, it is not just about the drivers, it is not just about the support teams – it is a whole of Kenya event. The carnival, the excitement, the celebration - it is just that captivating.

“Millions of Kenyans are engrossed in this. We will have great difficulty tomorrow and Friday to keep everybody at work! Those who have reasons will look for those reasons, those who don’t have reasons will look for excuses. I will be working tomorrow, unfortunately for me,” he joked.

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