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
How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book Plus

How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book

At the tender age of 22, Kalle Rovanpera is redefining what’s possible to achieve in rallying and inspiring a new legion of fans as a result. The newly-crowned World Rally Championship title-winner and his peers reflect on his ability and the start of his success in the top tier

WRC
Nov 26, 2022
How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party Plus

How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party

Thierry Neuville signed off the 2022 World Rally Championship season with his second win of the season in Japan after Toyota rival Elfyn Evans suffered a late puncture. With Sebastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanpera also delayed by punctures and incidents, it opened the door for Neuville and Ott Tanak to record Hyundai's second 1-2 of the season in Toyota's own backyard

WRC
Nov 14, 2022
The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer Plus

The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer

Sebastien Ogier might be the outgoing World Rally champion, but it didn’t stop him reminding everyone of the skills that made him an eight-time world champion. As victory at Rally Spain led Toyota’s charge to a titles clean sweep, it did pose a question to newly-crowned champion Kalle Rovanpera which he could not answer

WRC
Oct 24, 2022
Autosport gets to grips as a WRC co-driver Plus

Autosport gets to grips as a WRC co-driver

The majority of headlines may focus on the exploits of drivers in the World Rally Championship, but the challenges facing their co-drivers are no less demanding. Autosport got in the passenger seat with Toyota Gazoo Racing to find out just what it takes to succeed

WRC
Oct 6, 2022
How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge Plus

How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge

Kalle Rovanpera’s coronation as the new World Rally Championship king had been a long time coming, only to be postponed by hiccups in Belgium and Greece. But at Rally New Zealand the “Full Send” Finn demonstrated exactly how he's been able to rewrite the rallying record book as he stormed to victory to become the youngest ever world champion

WRC
Oct 3, 2022
How a Toyota lifeline reignited Lappi's WRC career Plus

How a Toyota lifeline reignited Lappi's WRC career

Motorsport can be brutal at times. One moment a driver can be the next big thing, but it can spiral in the other direction so quickly. Thankfully, sometimes drivers receive second chances. And Esapekka Lappi has taken his World Rally Championship lifeline in both hands

WRC
Sep 28, 2022
How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy Plus

How team orders could make Hyundai's historic Acropolis Rally a Greek tragedy

Thierry Neuville led a maiden Hyundai 1-2-3 in the World Rally Championship, as the previously soft i20 N became a battle-hardened Greek warrior at the Acropolis Rally. But with team orders in play between the winner and Hyundai’s title protagonist Ott Tanak, could the result come back to haunt the team?

WRC
Sep 12, 2022
How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders Plus

How Tanak triumphed amid a series of Belgium WRC blunders

After runaway World Rally Championship leader Kalle Rovanpera made his first major mistake of the season, the chance to take advantage was wide open for the chasing pack. Several of his rivals faltered to grasp the opportunity, but Ott Tanak made no such mistake and demonstrated his class with a third win of the campaign

WRC
Aug 22, 2022