Kenya has worked hard to get its rally back onto the world circuit after it fell off in 2002 due to concerns over safety, organisation and finances.
An 18 year wait
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“It is my pleasure today to announce to the people of Kenya and Africa that this process has been concluded and the Safari Rally has been included in the International Automobile Federation World Rally Championships after 18 years of waiting,” Kenyatta said in a statement.
“In order to further globalise the championship, we need to have more WRC rounds outside Europe. I am glad to see the results of our expansion strategy, with emblematic events such as Kenya and Japan coming back to the WRC calender next year,” FIA Rally Director Yves Matton said in a statement.
Across the savannah
Past winners included Britain’s Colin McRae, Spaniard Carlos Sainz, Juha Kankkunen and Ari Vatanen of Finland.
“The Safari holds iconic status across East Africa, with fans from countries like Uganda and Tanzania as enthusiastic about the rally as those from Kenya itself,” WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla said on the championship’s website.
“That doesn’t mean its challenge is diminished and we can be sure 2020’s version will test our drivers, teams and cars to the full,” he added.
The Kenyan rally will be held between July 16-19, 2020.