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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This project has been in the works for many years since the WRC safari rally left in 2002 - there is now hope for it to come back as part of the WRC schedule of 2020. The implications of the Rally are far more than just the competition - it's the ecosystem of activities around the rally for example logistics (internet, fuel, transportation, accommodation, power etc), technology transfer, International media (and free country publicity), motorsport tourism (also tourism as a whole) are all majorly beneficial to the country - far more than the $2.5m KE government will spend on the project - lets not forget the private sector sponsorship - Sfcom, KCb etc. Lets hope this event comes to fruition.

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FIA president Jean Todt renewed his push to get the Safari Rally back on the World Rally Championship calendar with government talks this week.

Todt talked of his determination to use the Kenyan event as a launchpad to promote road safety in Africa as he officially opened the WRC Safari Rally Project office in Nairobi before holding private talks with Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta.

Kenyatta's government has pumped in close to £2million in funding to get the Safari Rally back to the WRC for the first time since 2002, with a place on the 2020 schedule the goal.

"I met with President Kenyatta, who pulled me aside and told me that he wants the Safari back in the WRC as part of his legacy," said Todt.

He added that he told the rally organisers: "I am your friend, but you must deliver. I would want a good Safari used to promote road safety in Africa."



Todt contested the Safari eight times during his career as a co-driver.

"East African Safari was the reference point in the world of motorsport," he said.

"'If you are not a local then you cannot win' was the reputation of the Safari in the rest of the world.

"I took part eight times and never finished apart from 1973 when we finished third with Ove Andersson [in a Peugeot 504]. My heroes were people like Joginder Singh, Nick Norwicki and [Bert] Shankland."

WRC Promoter chief Oliver Ciesla has opened discussions with the Safari organisers, but admitted it was too early to comment on the potential for the event's return to the WRC calendar.

READ MORE - AUTOSPORT.com
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
One step closer to being a full WRC event ... hopefully



LINK

ANOTHER SOURCE ==

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 21- The legendary ‘Toughest Rally on Earth’ Kenya’s Safari Rally inched a step closer to mark a return to the World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar when the 2019 edition was confirmed as a Test Event for the rejoining the global circuit.

In a press statement released from Munich, the long-awaited move follows the signing of an agreement between the WRC Promoter and the Ministry of Sports and Heritage in Paris on Thursday with a view of the classic African fixture returning to the calendar in 2020.

Managing Director, Oliver Ciesla and Principal Secretary for Sports, Ambassador Peter Kaberia and Kenya Motor Sport Federation and WRC Safari Rally Chairman, Phineas Kimathi put pen to paper in the deal in the presence of world body FIA President, Jean Todt.

“This agreement reflects our determination to restore the legendary rally to the championship and reinstate Africa to the top table of world rallying after an absence of more than a decade,” Ciesla remarked at the signing ceremony.

SOURCE CAPITAL FM SPORTS
 

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The government should put a full court press to make sure that event goes back to Kenya. Kenya can accommodate the current format that the WRC is implementing for their races worldwide. This event is a big tourism magnet that should not be left to pass.
The 2019 season will be a trial event, and if successful, Kenya will be awarded the standard three year contract renewal- 2020-2022.
The next General elections will fall during the Rally contract years :cripes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Nothing is better than getting support from your friends to help us get the WRC safari back in 2020. Rwanda! THX!

Kenya’s WRC bid receives support in Rwanda meet


Rally cars line up at Kasarani Stadium on Wednesday for a pre-event scrutineering ahead of the 2018 ARC Safari Rally. [Standard Sports]


During this year’s FIA Confederation of African Countries in Motorsport (CACMS) in Kigali, Rwanda, August 22-25, WRC Safari Rally Project Event Secretary and Secretariat Administrative Secretary Helen Shiri and Ruth Muthui took visitors through the country’s efforts.

“Keep pushing,” said Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) President Jean Todt. “Good luck,” he wrote in the visitor’s book.

This is the third time, Todt has commented about Kenya’s Safari dream this year. On February 27 when he opened the WRC Safari Rally Project new offices, he observed: “I’m encouraged by what I have seen.

“It will rely on combined efforts by Kenya Motor Sports Federation, Automobile Association of Kenya, FIA Foundation and both the private and public sectors.

Reality in Africa

“It’s sad that Safari Rally lost its WRC status in 2002 despite its rich history. Over the years there have been initiatives to have it back but unfortunately it didn’t happen,” Todt said.

On June 21 during the official signing ceremony between the Kenya government and the WRC Promoter in Paris in his presence, officially elevating the 2019 Safari as an FIA Candidate Event, Todt tweeted: “Safari Rally becomes official WRC FIA candidate event, signing off the agreement between government of Kenya and WRC Promoter today in Paris at the Automobile & Club De France.”

“I hope I will encourage the development of motorsports and road safety in Africa.”

The President of Federation of Motorsport Clubs of Uganda Dusman Okee said: “The WRC is finally becoming a reality in Africa and Africa is once again brought to life through Kenya. Thanks you so much friends and lovers of motorsport to Kenya. The Harambee Project to all of us.”

READ MORE - STANDARD ONLINE
 
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^^They better not screw it up. They should re-evaluate what made the event be withdrawn and how they are prepared never to get there again. I think the govt. also withdrew its support for the event, which made it more expensive to organize. Sustainability plans are essential for projects!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
The day is set --
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#WRC Safari Rally Candidate Event set for July 4-7 2019
The Event will be held in a location to be determined after consultation with the FIA Race Delegate legendary Michelle Mouton who is due to be in Kenya January. #SafariRally project CEO Phineas has announced.

 
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I’m so sad we screwed up this great event. I recall people in my village lining up by the roads to cheer the competitors. It was awesome. It’s just amazing that that was screwed up by people we’ve selected to represent us in govt. it’s inconceivable.
 

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^^They better not screw it up. They should re-evaluate what made the event be withdrawn and how they are prepared never to get there again. I think the govt. also withdrew its support for the event, which made it more expensive to organize. Sustainability plans are essential for projects!
I’m so sad we screwed up this great event. I recall people in my village lining up by the roads to cheer the competitors. It was awesome. It’s just amazing that that was screwed up by people we’ve selected to represent us in govt. it’s inconceivable.
There were a number of factors at play for the withdrawal of the WRC status of this legendary race.

1. Sponsorship.

With the loss of longtime sponsor- Phillip Morris USA (makers of Marlboro brand cigarettes) after the end of the 1990 campaign season, the writing was on the wall. From there on, there was a turnstile of sponsors who stepped in on a short time basis till its final WRC accreditation.

2. Government alignment.

For quite sometime, the Safari Rally always fell in the sports docket, but not in the big draw tourism ticket in Kenya. That meant the Kenyan government had very little budgeted to cover the cost of sponsoring the Safari Rally.

3. Safety.

Back in the old format, the Safari Rally was legendary because of how tough it was. Because it was an African event, emergency medical help for both the drivers & spectators was limited and no serious challenges were raised. That race used to cover both private & public roads stretching from the Rift Valley to Coast! The NGOs and local politicians got vocal when spectators and other unaware pedestrians/motorists got maimed or killed with no financial compensation....and the WRC listened. They shut it down.
The new format will showcase closed circuits that will mainly feature private ranches, conservatories, national parks/reserves and temporarily closed public roads just like they do elsewhere around the world.

4. Accessibility.

This is key. Fan experience drives this sport and the federation needs a venue that attracts fans from across the world in droves without restrictions. The advent of multi-party politics in Kenya was counter to that.
In my honest opinion, I still think this is an area where Kenya hasn't progressed much and will be detrimental to the sport returning to Kenya.
 

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A bit of nostalgia.



And the last rally I remember watching was the 1999 Safari Rally. Since its the one that inspired my dad to go out and buy a Subaru. Which he crashed and ended up fixing several times before he sold it for a small Suzuki car.

@3:58 kenyans never cease to amaze me :lol::lol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
‘We have 2020 WRC Safari, if we do right in July’, says Kimathi

Fingers crossed this goes on without a hitch --

‘We have 2020 WRC Safari, if we do right in July’, says Kimathi
By VoS CORRESPONDENT
Updated: May 18, 2019

“UNLESS we shoot ourselves in the foot,” said WRC Safari Rally Project chief executive officer Phineas Kimathi from Geneva on Saturday night, “the Safari will be on the 2020 WRC calendar.” Kimathi was commenting on earlier excitement circulating online that the Safari would definitely make a return to the World Rally Championships (WRC).

Kimathi who is attending FIA (Federation Internationale Automobile) WRC business in Switzerland explained: “The events of the last few days included a report by the [commercial] WRC Promoter on how well or not Kenya has met the conditions for returning the Safari to the WRC fold.

.....

A further Kenyan morale booster was Kimathi — the President of the Kenya Motor Sports Federation and former leading Kenya National Rally Championship and Safari Rally driver — being elected to sit on the FIA’s Rally Commission. Kenyans already had the news since Wednesday.

Meanwhile back at the Government of Kenya-propelled WRC Safari Rally Project headquarters at Moi International Sports Centre [MISC], Kasarani, activity towards the Safari Rally WRC Candidate event stepped up. Organisers are trying to polish up the course of rally that begins with a proposed spectacular spectator-friendly 2km circuit special stage on the premises of MISC where over 60,000 spectators are expected on the opening day.

SOURCE VOICE OF SPORTS
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Uhuru Kenyatta flags off Safari Rally at Kasarani

Fingers crossed !!



Uhuru Kenyatta flags off Safari Rally at Kasarani

President Uhuru Kenyatta has reaffirmed the government’s support for the Safari Rally’s bid to make a comeback to the prestigious World Rally Championship.

And to show the government’s support for the drive, the president on Friday presented a cheque of Sh440 million towards the World Rally Championship Safari Project to the project’s chief executive Phineas Kimathi.

This was before President Kenyatta flagged off cars competing in this year’s Safari, which is running as a candidate event for the World Rally Championship, at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani.

The President said the Safari Rally is held in high esteem in Kenya and is very much part of the national psyche.

“With the first Safari Rally having taken place in our country in 1953, rallying has deep roots in Kenya’s national psyche,” Uhuru said.

“Many generations of Kenyans were raised against the background of impressive rally races, criss-crossing our nation, and looking up to motoring legends who distinguished themselves due to their skill, daring and jaw-dropping feats of world class rallying,” the President added.

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
BREAKING: #WRC calendar for 2020 will have major changes according to Finnish magazine!

Hopefully this is not fake news!
FINALLY !! SAFO IS BACK

IN: Kenya, Japan, NewZealand
OUT: Corsica, Turkey, Australia


 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
2020 FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP CALENDAR ANNOUNCED

Its a done deal Kenya is on the WRC circuit 2020!!
July 2020 :applause: :applause:

What an honor given to Kenya!! As we represent the continent in this great event.

The FIA today announced the World Rally Championship calendar for the 2020 season, following an e-vote by the World Motor Sport Council this week.

The 2020 calendar, comprised of 14 rounds, is confirmed as follows:

1. 26 January Rally Monte-Carlo

2. 16 February Rally Sweden

3. 15 March Rally Mexico

4. 19 April Rally Chile

5. 3 May Rally Argentina

6. 24 May Rally Portugal

7. 7 June Rally Italy

8. 19 July Rally Kenya

9. 9 August Rally Finland

10. 6 September Rally New Zealand

11. 27 September Rally Turkey

12. 18 October Rally Germany

13. 1 November Rally Great Britain

14. 22 November Rally Japan

Rally Monte-Carlo will open the season, as is tradition, while three new rounds, Rally Kenya, Rally New-Zealand and the season-closing Rally Japan, will make their return to the world stage.

FIA Rally Director Yves Matton commented:

“In order to further globalise the championship, we needed 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 calendar next year, alongside New Zealand replacing Australia, while long-standing, iconic European events provide a great balance and preserve the DNA of the sport.

“Following the integration of Chile last year, the 2020 calendar also expands our presence on both the Asian and African continents.

“With the strong interest of many countries to host a WRC round, we had more high-quality candidates than the number of slots available in the calendar, which demonstrates the robust health and popularity of the championship. The rotation system that we are adopting gives us the opportunity to maintain a higher number of good events in the WRC.

“Thanks to the new calendar strategy that was put in place following the World Motor Sport Council in March 2019, we are able to announce the WRC schedule earlier than in recent years and in the future we aim to be in a position to publish it in March.”



SOURCE FIA WEBSITE
 

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CS @tunajibu today met the technical team from the World Rally Championship @OfficialWRC in Naivasha where the process of finalizing the route for the championship are on course.The championship is back in Kenya after a hiatus of 17 yrs & will take place from 16-19 July this year

Source

Too bad the race will not be held on Easter as was the tradition back in the day, but that's a nitpick on my part.

From the picture above, one of the stages may take place at Hells Gate NP, which would be a fantastic setting for such a race!!
 
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