Safari Rally poised to rejoin World Rally Championship in 2019

A timetable has been put in place to return the Safari Rally to the World Rally Championship

Safari Rally poised to rejoin World Rally Championship in 2019

The Kenyan classic could be back on the calendar in 2019, if government backing comes to fruition.

A WRC-spec national event is proposed for next season with a full candidate rally set for 2018, which would be the precursor to Africa's first WRC round since 2002.

Support for the Safari comes from the highest level of Kenyan politics with president Uhuru Kenyatta pushing hard - having included it as part of his successful election manifesto in 2012.

President Kenyatta raised the potential for a Safari return with FIA president Jean Todt and reported positive feedback.

Todt has never hidden his desire to see long-distance rallies and Africa back on the calendar.

Kenyan Motorsport Federation chairman Phineas Kimathi is the driving force behind the project.

Kimathi met with WRC Promoter chief Oliver Ciesla and is understood to have an agreement in principle - based on strong funding and the kind of closed-road, Rift Valley route that would deliver the all-important televisual backdrop.

The Safari Rally was one of the WRC's most important events, with many manufacturers rating success in Africa almost as highly as the world title itself.

It was dropped from the WRC when government funding dried up after 2002, but has continued as a domestic event since then.

shares
comments
Sebastien Ogier impresses M-Sport in 2017 WRC Ford test

Previous article

Sebastien Ogier impresses M-Sport in 2017 WRC Ford test

Next article

FIA admits WRC running order rules went 'too far' in 2016

FIA admits WRC running order rules went 'too far' in 2016
Load comments
How Finland’s newest rally hero made WRC history in Estonia Plus

How Finland’s newest rally hero made WRC history in Estonia

Kalle Rovanpera broke a decade-old record in becoming the World Rally Championship's youngest-ever winner in a truly dominant performance on Estonia's fast gravel roads. Staving off the challenge of Hyundai's Craig Breen, his committed drive showed a maturity beyond his 20 years that gives Toyota's post-Ogier era a far brighter complexion

WRC
Jul 19, 2021
How WRC's new Safari adventure ended with a familiar tale Plus

How WRC's new Safari adventure ended with a familiar tale

The World Rally Championship’s delayed return to the Safari Rally was always set throw up some surprises, but aside from a spirited showing by Thierry Neuville it became another painful event for Hyundai in 2021. Once again it was Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage as he completed a stunning comeback drive

WRC
Jun 28, 2021
Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win Plus

Remembering Colin McRae’s final WRC win

The Safari Rally returns to the World Rally Championship this weekend for the first time since 2002 - when crowd favourite Colin McRae set aside the maximum attack style for which he was renowned to deliver a textbook third win

WRC
Jun 23, 2021
How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2 Plus

How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2

For the second WRC gravel rally in a row, a promising Friday for Hyundai turned into desolation as Toyota gratefully picked up the pieces. This time it was championship leader Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage after Ott Tanak and Dani Sordo retired to score a memorable victory, having swept the road on the first two days

WRC
Jun 7, 2021
How Hyundai's latest self-destruction handed Evans Portugal victory Plus

How Hyundai's latest self-destruction handed Evans Portugal victory

At one point Hyundai held the top three positions in Portugal, but when trouble struck the Korean marque's two leading chargers, a grateful Elfyn Evans was on hand to see off Hyundai third man Dani Sordo and become the third different winner in four rallies

WRC
May 24, 2021
Why the success of AVB's WRC debut won't be defined on the stages Plus

Why the success of AVB's WRC debut won't be defined on the stages

Three years after a Dakar Rally crash resulted in him being airlifted to hospital, Andre Villas-Boas is preparing to make his debut on his home round of the World Rally Championship later this month. His goals for the event are modest, but the same cannot be said for the charities he plans to promote where his true impact could be felt

WRC
May 13, 2021
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Plus

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia Plus

How Ogier held on after a shock bump in the road to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021