FIA president Todt steps up efforts to get Safari Rally back to WRC

FIA president Jean Todt renewed his push to get the Safari Rally back on the World Rally Championship calendar with government talks this week

FIA president Todt steps up efforts to get Safari Rally back to WRC

Todt talked of his determination to use the Kenyan event as a launchpad to promote road safety in Africa as he officially opened the WRC Safari Rally Project office in Nairobi before holding private talks with Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta.

Kenyatta's government has pumped in close to £2million in funding to get the Safari Rally back to the WRC for the first time since 2002, with a place on the 2020 schedule the goal.

"I met with President Kenyatta, who pulled me aside and told me that he wants the Safari back in the WRC as part of his legacy," said Todt.

He added that he told the rally organisers: "I am your friend, but you must deliver. I would want a good Safari used to promote road safety in Africa."

Todt contested the Safari eight times during his career as a co-driver.

"East African Safari was the reference point in the world of motorsport," he said.

"'If you are not a local then you cannot win' was the reputation of the Safari in the rest of the world.

"I took part eight times and never finished apart from 1973 when we finished third with Ove Andersson [in a Peugeot 504]. My heroes were people like Joginder Singh, Nick Norwicki and [Bert] Shankland."

WRC Promoter chief Oliver Ciesla has opened discussions with the Safari organisers, but admitted it was too early to comment on the potential for the event's return to the WRC calendar.

The Safari Rally lost its WRC status when its title sponsor departed in 2002.

It continued as an Intercontinental Rally Challenge round in 2007 and '09 and now runs as an African Championship event.

shares
comments
Nasser Al-Attiyah set to land WRC outings in a Toyota Yaris
Previous article

Nasser Al-Attiyah set to land WRC outings in a Toyota Yaris

Next article

The F3 convert carrying a nation's WRC hopes

The F3 convert carrying a nation's WRC hopes
Load comments
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Plus

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
Nov 26, 2021
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Plus

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, Autosport picks out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion Plus

The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion

At the turn of the millennium, WRC was full to the brim with rallying's great and good - and 20 years ago on this day, Richard Burns became England's first world rally champion. Although Burns' natural talent drove him to the top, his steely determination and mental strength was the key attribute behind his title-winning form

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
How Ogier emerged out of Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend Plus

How Ogier emerged out of Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend

OPINION: Adding an eighth WRC title to his name, Sebastien Ogier has bowed out from full-time rallying in style. Having been compared throughout his career with nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb, Ogier has convincingly demonstrated that he can stand on his own as one of the greatest rally drivers in history

WRC
Nov 22, 2021
How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend Plus

How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend

This weekend's Rally Monza marks the end of an era in the World Rally Championship, as Sebastien Ogier prepares to bring down the curtain on his full-time career with an eighth title. For all his enduring success, the Toyota driver reveals in an exclusive interview that lingering insecurities have compelled his quest for perfection

WRC
Nov 18, 2021
The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC Plus

The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC

The McRae family name is steeped in rallying history, with eight British titles between Jimmy, Colin and Alister - plus the small matter of the 1995 WRC title too. Next on the conveyor of talent is Alister's 17-year-old Max McRae, who’s setting out in Australia to conquer the world of rallying and return the famous name to the WRC...

WRC
Nov 12, 2021
Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era Plus

Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era

As the World Rally Championship undergoes its biggest shift in regulations for a generation, teams are taking radical measures to prepare for its new era. Hyundai's unique approach involved conducting a private 1500km rally in Italy and Autosport went to see how the team is preparing for 2022

WRC
Nov 4, 2021
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Plus

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021