WRC News: Kenya's Safari Rally cancelled due to coronavirus

The Safari Rally in Kenya has become the second World Rally Championship event to be cancelled outright in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic

WRC News: Kenya's Safari Rally cancelled due to coronavirus

The East African event was due to return to the WRC calendar for the first time since 2002, scheduled as the eighth round on 16-19 July on the original WRC schedule.

However, in a statement released by the organiser on Friday, it was announced that the rally has now been deferred until 2021, with the exact date to be announced later.

The decision was jointly reached by the Government of Kenya, the FIM and WRC Promoter citing the effects of COVID-19 on "global economies, cross-border travel and mass social engagements".

The Kenya event is the third event to be called off this year after Rally Portugal, which was originally postponed before being cancelled altogether, and Rally Chile, which was struck off the calendar back in November due to social unrest in the country.

"We will continue to prepare for the event as groundworks are already in top gear and look forward to welcoming the rally professionals, team and enthusiasts to Kenya when the event is reconvened next year," said Amina Mohamed, the Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Heritage and Culture in Kenya.

"Postponing the event to 2021 was not a simple decision to make however we are cognisant of the present global challenges and assure that the Safari Rally will mark a significant part of our country's history as was intended for the next three years."

"The organising teams continue to work hard to make sure that we deliver a world-class event," added Joe Okudo, Kenya's Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Sports.

"We are at an advanced stage to complete the Service Park located in Nakuru County and are in line with the set completion timelines. We have also completed the Event Safety Plan, Itinerary and Supplementary Regulations."

The WRC was able to complete three rounds before the pandemic, although March's Rally Mexico was shortened by a day to allow teams to return safely to Europe.

The season is now scheduled to resume in Finland on 6-9 August, although the event could be postponed until September or October subject to an evaluation in June.

A similar feasibility study on Rally New Zealand's will take place later this month, with travel restrictions the biggest hurdle in getting the event off ground.

Subscribe to Motorsport.tv for just £3.99 a month to watch WRC highlights, as well as a plethora of other motorsport videos

shares
comments
WRC News: Bid to take WRC to Northern Ireland "very exciting" - Secretary of State
Previous article

WRC News: Bid to take WRC to Northern Ireland "very exciting" - Secretary of State

Next article

WRC News: Tanak's new start with Hyundai 'better than expected'

WRC News: Tanak's new start with Hyundai 'better than expected'
Load comments
How Monte masters stole the show as WRC's hybrid era blasted off Plus

How Monte masters stole the show as WRC's hybrid era blasted off

The new Rally1 hybrid cars made their competition debuts in Monte Carlo, but it was two semi-retired drivers who took centre stage in a thrilling battle between two of the World Rally Championship's most successful names. Here's how Sebastien Loeb completed a remarkable return on his M-Sport debut by beating reigning champion Sebastien Ogier

WRC
8 h
The WRC heirs scrapping to assume Ogier's throne in 2022 Plus

The WRC heirs scrapping to assume Ogier's throne in 2022

Eight-time World Rally Championship king Sebastien Ogier has abdicated (well, gone part-time) in 2022, meaning for just the second time in the past decade we will have a different champion this year. Autosport picks out the drivers gunning to take his place and take over the mantle as the WRC's new ruler

WRC
Jan 20, 2022
The 'Cumbrian Maranello' where Ford's WRC giants are born Plus

The 'Cumbrian Maranello' where Ford's WRC giants are born

M-Sport is changing the game as a World Rally Championship powerhouse, inspired by Ferrari's legendary Formula 1 base. Autosport was afforded a behind-the-scenes look at its new headquarters, the result of a vision that has taken three decades to be realised, where its new Rally1 Puma took shape

WRC
Jan 19, 2022
The WRC star that's earned the right to lead M-Sport's revival Plus

The WRC star that's earned the right to lead M-Sport's revival

Part-time opportunities with Citroen and Hyundai have offered brief glimpses of what Craig Breen can do in a World Rally Championship car. Now signed up by M-Sport to lead it into the WRC's new hybrid era, Breen has been given the chance he's pursued for so long and is determined to make the most of it

WRC
Jan 18, 2022
Why the WRC's 'modern Group B' era was rallying at its bonkers best Plus

Why the WRC's 'modern Group B' era was rallying at its bonkers best

The World Rally Championship has brought down the curtain on the aggressive, aero-laden generation of cars first introduced in 2017 that have been likened to the 1980s Group B icons. As the championship prepares to begin a new era of Rally1 hybrid cars, its stars explain just why the outgoing machines were so special

WRC
Dec 24, 2021
Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2021 Plus

Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2021

On the eve of a new hybrid era for the World Rally Championship, the 2021 season was a blockbuster fought out between Toyota's two top dogs, with a familiar figure eventually emerging on top after a final showdown at Monza. Autosport picks out the 10 best performers from the top class and its supporting cast

WRC
Dec 21, 2021
Why Ogier's WRC swansong was a season to savour Plus

Why Ogier's WRC swansong was a season to savour

He’s shuffling into semi-rally-retirement, but Toyota star Sebastien Ogier was at the peak of his powers in the final season for the high downforce era-World Rally Championship cars. Despite Toyota's domination, there was still much to enjoy as the old master emerged atop a fierce title fight against team-mate Elfyn Evans

WRC
Dec 19, 2021
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