It’s Baaaaaaack!! Safari Rally returns To World Rally Championship
Considered as the world’s toughest rally, Kenya’s premier motor sport competition Safari Rally is officially back at the World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar after taking a major step in its bid to return to the Championships.
Safari Rally makes a return to the 2020 WRC calendar after 18 years and will be part of the 14 events in the Series.
The announcement was made by the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) on Friday on its website following an e-vote by the World Motor Sport Council this week.
The iconic African event, famed for its tough driving conditions, featured on the World Championship circuit between 1973 and 2002. The 14-leg WRC has been lacking a leg in Africa since Safari Rally was dropped in 2002.
This year’s competition will be a candidate event for the 2020 World Rally Championship circuit and as such is bound to attract a lot of interest from international teams. The new move, pending final draft by WRC, almost confirms the country’s dream to have the event back in the top tier of global motor sport circuit in 2020.
Kenya has signed a three year deal with the promoter to run the event as part of the WRC from 2020 to 2022. It’s an exciting project, which will create a lot of buzz for the country.
The clamour for the rally’s return to the championship had been growing louder lately. The first ever edition of the Safari Rally in 1953 marked the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. It crossed into Tanzania and Uganda.
The 2020 calendar, comprised of 14 rounds, is confirmed as follows
Rally Monte-Carlo (January 23-26)
Rally Sweden (February 13-16),
Rally Mexico (March 12-15
Rally Chile (April 16-19),
Rally Argentina (April 30-May 3),
Rally Portugal (May 21-24)
Rally Italy (June 4-7),
Safari Rally (July 16-19),
Rally Finland ( August 6-9),
Rally New Zealand (September 3-6),
Rally Turkey (September 24-27),
Rally Germany (October 15-18),
Rally Great Britain (October 29-November 1),
Rally Japan (November 19-22)