NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
International drivers will compete in next year’s Safari Rally
in Kenya to familiarize themselves with the conditions in Africa
as the event hopes to be part of the World Rally Championships
WRC Project Chief
Executive Officer Phineas Kimathi said in Nairobi that the
Safari Rally has signed a three-year contract to be part of the
14-tier World Rally Champion (WRC) starting from 2020 to 2022
and international rally drivers will compete in next year’s
race, which will be part of the WRC candidate event.
international drivers to send in their crew for inspection and
familiarization of the route before the event becomes part of
create spectator friendly areas with the introduction of ‘power
stage’ concept in 2019, thereby providing better access to the
drivers and media,” Kimathi said.
The Safari Rally,
which was launched in 1953 as part of the coronation of the
Queen of England, was part of the WRC until 2002 before it was
dropped for safety and lack of government support and funding.
However, Kenya has
made it necessary to apply for reinstatement to the WRC and will
be the only rally in Africa to complete the global rally
“Drivers will earn
additional five points for winning the power stage and bring
Rally more to the people,” said Kimathi.
driver Michele Mouton who is also the FIA Race Director is
expected in the country to inspect the routes that have been
earmarked for the candidate rally which will be held in July.
“Mouton will inspect
the three blocks of the route around Kajiado, Nanyuki, Naivasha
and Nakuru. He will then make recommendations to WRC accordingly
after the end of the visit,” said Kimathi.
development will come amidst changes that have been effected by
the KMSF for the country to realign itself with the
International Motor Sports Federation (FIA) standards.
The changes made to
the 2019 National Competition Rules (NCRs) are meant to give the
country the requisite impetus to be considered as a host of the
WRC leg by FIA in 2020.
The board also
agreed to set up a Developing Motorsports Grassroots and Budget
Racing Committee to be headed by legendary Rally driver Azar
Anwar to look into an affordable car class to be improved by
KMSF in order to promote motorsport in the grassroots level.