WRC signs agreement for 'modern-era' Safari Rally

The return of the iconic Safari Rally to the World Rally Championship has taken another step closer, with a 2020 calendar slot the target

WRC signs agreement for 'modern-era' Safari Rally

FIA president and former WRC co-driver Jean Todt has long pushed for the Kenyan event to return to the schedule for the first time since 2002.

On Thursday WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla, Kirimi Peter Kaberia, the principal secretary of Kenya's Ministry of Sports and Heritage, and Phineas Kimathi, chief executive of the project to revive the Safari signed a landmark agreement at the FIA Paris headquarters in Todt's presence.

The 2019 edition of the Safari, currently an African Championship round, will run as an official WRC 'candidate event' and be observed with a view to it joining the WRC calendar the following year.

While the original Safari Rally was notorious for its ultra-long route and stages, the organisers of the new version have adapted it for a modern WRC format.

"This is a modern-era Safari," said Ciesla.

"Traditional open-road competitive sections have been replaced by smoother special stages in private estates and conservancies and a comprehensive safety plan is in place to support a rally organised to the current WRC format.

"That doesn't mean the challenge is diminished. The gravel roads are demanding and we can also look forward to striking images of African wildlife and stunning landscapes."

shares
comments
Ostberg takes Meeke's Citroen WRC seat for remainder of 2018 season
Previous article

Ostberg takes Meeke's Citroen WRC seat for remainder of 2018 season

Next article

WRC leader Thierry Neuville dominates Ypres Rally with Hyundai

WRC leader Thierry Neuville dominates Ypres Rally with Hyundai
How Rovanpera has reignited Finland's rallying obsession Plus

How Rovanpera has reignited Finland's rallying obsession

Finland may have a small population, but it has long enjoyed rallying success. Now that the nation has a new star to cheer in the form of Kalle Rovanpera, interest in the discipline is surging once again

WRC
Aug 10, 2022
How Tanak spoiled Rovanpera’s Finnish homecoming Plus

How Tanak spoiled Rovanpera’s Finnish homecoming

Kalle Rovanpera and Toyota went into Rally Finland as overwhelming favourites but came away as runners-up to a resurgent Ott Tanak and Hyundai. While it may have dampened the homecoming party, it still moved the Finn closer to the ultimate World Rally Championship prize

WRC
Aug 8, 2022
Inside Hyundai’s F1-spec mobile WRC home Plus

Inside Hyundai’s F1-spec mobile WRC home

Hyundai is one of the World Rally Championship's big three, and has a brand-new travelling facility befitting of that status. The team invited Autosport for a behind-the-scenes look at its state-of-the-art HQ, which comes complete with all the bells and whistles you'd expect of a top Formula 1 outfit

WRC
Jul 27, 2022
How Rovanpera's latest Estonia masterclass left his WRC rivals stumped Plus

How Rovanpera's latest Estonia masterclass left his WRC rivals stumped

After trailing Toyota team-mate Elfyn Evans for much of Rally Estonia's opening day, WRC points leader Kalle Rovanpera took advantage of a change in the weather and never looked back afterwards. Winning for a fifth time this year at the scene of his 2021 breakthrough, and with a breathtaking powerstage bonus for good measure, his advantage is already looking difficult to topple

WRC
Jul 18, 2022
How the WRC captures its stunning visuals Plus

How the WRC captures its stunning visuals

Whether it’s the mountains of Monte Carlo, the snow of Sweden or the Kenya Savannah, the World Rally Championship is able to beam some of motorsport’s most spectacular footage to television screens while operating in the harshest of environments. Autosport went behind the scenes to unearth the secrets that make this logistical challenge possible

WRC
Jul 7, 2022
Why WRC's Safari tour is more than just a rally Plus

Why WRC's Safari tour is more than just a rally

OPINION: A source of national pride in Kenya, the Safari Rally is also a sporting, cultural and economic phenomenon. And as last weekend's World Rally Championship round reminded us, it's a key driver in establishing Africa’s place in world motorsport

WRC
Jun 29, 2022
How Rovanpera tamed a wild Safari Rally Plus

How Rovanpera tamed a wild Safari Rally

The Safari Rally acted as a brutal test of driver and car resolve as multiple retirements opened the path for a historic Toyota 1-2-3-4 triumph, headed by star Kalle Rovanpera. But keeping things clean was only half of the challenge, as a well-timed charge when conditions worsened allowed the Finn to take control

WRC
Jun 27, 2022
How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph Plus

How Tanak turned the tables to deliver Hyundai a timely WRC triumph

The 2019 champion has been a bit-part player recently, but Ott Tanak ended a 15-month drought in fine style with a dominant win in Sardinia. On a weekend when championship leader Kalle Rovanpera struggled with cleaning the road, his Hyundai rival has made his belated arrival into the title race and given cause for those predicting a walkover from the Toyota star to pause

WRC
Jun 6, 2022