NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Regional drivers from East Africa will have to be
vetted and ranked before competing in this year’s Safari Rally,
as Kenya Motor Sport Federation (KMSF) President Phineas Kimathi
and event organizers confirmed on Tuesday that entry would be
limited to just 60 cars.
The Safari Rally serves as
part of the Africa Rally Championship (ARC) and will run as a
candidate event for the World Rally Championship (WRC).
Running from July 5 to 8, the rally will be held on closed
roads in Naivasha and Nakuru, rather than on open public roads
through Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya as usual.
"Traditional open-road competitive sections have been
replaced by smoother special stages in private estates and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 to the current WRC format," WRC
managing director Oliver Ciesla said.
The starting order will be determined by the ARC seeding
system based on special stage times.
Where appropriate, the top seeded local driver will start
first in every country where ARC rounds are held.
A further rotation of the top four drivers registered for the
championship may also be implemented.
The WRC last used the Safari Rally as part of its 14-leg
championship in 2002, with Colin McRae and Nicky Grist taking
victory in a Ford Focus RS.
The event featured on the WRC calendar right from the
championship’s inception in 1973, until it was dropped owing to