Safari Rally could officially return in WRC calendar vote this week

An FIA World Motor Sport Council vote on the 2020 World Rally Championship calendar is expected later this week and could lead to the Safari Rally being officially added

Safari Rally could officially return in WRC calendar vote this week

The result of the vote is likely to come on Friday but it could be pushed back until early next week.

Sources close to the governing body have outlined that the vote will include a proposal to add the expected Rally Japan and Safari Rally events.

The proposal does not include Corsica, but Germany is on the schedule as a reserve event.

The understanding is that there will be no need for the rotation of events in the manner discussed at last month's WMSC meeting.

The potential for rotation was discussed in Paris as a way of including Corsica and Germany and potentially bringing more European countries to the calendar.

Autosport understands the plan was for events to rotate twice in 10 years.

The only events which voted against rotation were Australia, Kenya and Japan.

The source said: "It's understandable that new events don't vote for rotation - and Australia understands the very real potential for rotation with New Zealand."

The immediate future of the antipodean round of the series remains unclear, with New Zealand understood to be ready to go with an Auckland-based event for one year only.

A new-for-2020 Rally Australia based out of Gold Coast is reportedly still to be finalised by the Australian governing body.

The future of the Safari Rally will take another step forward when Hyundai, M-Sport and Toyota all send representatives alongside the FIA and WRC Promoter to observe the candidate event in Kenya this weekend.

The event is crucial in its bid for a WRC inclusion for the first time since 2002 with this weekend's audition event, which starts in Kasarani, Nairobi.

After an opening 1.2-mile superspecial in the nation's capital, crews head 50 miles north for the service park alongside Lake Naivasha on Friday afternoon.

The event, which is also a round of the African Rally Championship, is centred on the shores of the lake in the Great Rift Valley.

The route for the candidate event includes 158 competitive miles over 14 stages, for a total route of 488 miles.

Colin McRae and Nicky Grist won the last WRC-qualifying Safari Rally 17 years ago, although the event was significantly different in nature.

That event encompassed 627 competitive miles and it took the Ford Focus RS WRC 02-driving McRae close to eight hours to complete.

shares
comments
Markko Martin to take on current World Rally runners in Estonia

Previous article

Markko Martin to take on current World Rally runners in Estonia

Next article

Hyundai joins World Rally Championship race to sign Toyota's Tanak

Hyundai joins World Rally Championship race to sign Toyota's Tanak
Load comments
Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant? Plus

Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains Plus

How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Plus

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Plus

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Plus

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021
How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium Plus

How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium

With limited recent fortune and pressure starting to mount, Hyundai needed a big result at the Ypres Rally. All the key components came together in Belgium to see home hero Thierry Neuville lead a manufacturer 1-2 and kickstart its World Rally Championship challenge

WRC
Aug 16, 2021
The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree Plus

The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree

M-Sport has become the first to unveil its new-for-2022 hybrid World Rally Championship challenger, the Puma Rally1. Ford has upped its support in a bid for glory, but can the new machine roll back the years and return the Blue Oval to the top of the WRC tree?

WRC
Aug 12, 2021
The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies Plus

The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies

French drivers have dominated the World Rally Championship across the past two decades; Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier have racked up the titles in commanding fashion. With Ogier calling it a day on full-time WRC competition from next year, France will pin its long-term hopes on rookie Adrien Fourmaux, who looks to have a bright future.

WRC
Aug 7, 2021