By John Kwoba NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya will send 12 technical officials to the
Rally of Turkey to observe the organization of the event as they
look forward to hosting the 2019 Safari Rally as a “candidate
event” for the World Rally Championships (WRC).
chairman of the Kenya Motorsports Foundation (KMSF) said the
selected officials will lead the organization of next year’s
Safari Rally, which has been endorsed by the International
Automobile Federation (FIA), as a “candidate event” before it is
promoted to the WRC in 2020.
“We shall send 12
technical officials to the Rally of Turkey (Sept. 13-16). This
is important as it will make sure that everyone who is in the
WRC Safari Rally Project has exposure and an opportunity to
learn from the international events,” said Kimathi, on Wednesday
The Safari Rally,
which was first held in 1954 as part of Queen Elizabeth’s
coronation, was part of the longer version of the WRC but was
axed in 2002 due to a lack of government and financial
sponsorship and concerns over safety.
Uhuru Kenyatta has taken it upon himself to bid for the
reinstatement of the rally to the global arena. The FIA
President Jean Todt visited Kenya on three occasions before the
event was granted WRC candidate status in Paris last month.
government has set aside 2 million U.S. dollars towards the WRC
Safari Rally Project and more will be required to host the
competition in 2019 and 2020.
Secretary for Sports, Rashid Echesa is the chairman of the
project’s steering committee and will also gain from the
exposure in Turkey,” said Kimathi.
Kimathi will also be
traveling to Europe for this weekend’s Rally in Finland, where
he will serve as an FIA observer.
Kenya will have to
implement drastic changes to comply with the stringent FIA
requirements on safety of fans and drivers, while still
maintaining the excitement and adventure that the rally is known
“This is a
modern-era Safari. 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have been replaced by smoother special stages in private estates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 organized under the current WRC format,” said
Oliver Ciesla, the promoter of the WRC in Paris last month.