Weekend Plan: World Rally Championship (WRC) 2022
Considered the world’s toughest rally, Kenya’s premier motor sport competition, Safari Rally, is officially back on the World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar after 20 years and will be part of the 14 events in the series. The rally begins on the 23rd of June 2022 and ends on the 26th of June.
The Safari Rally has evolved to fit the modern-day WRC, but its character remains with challenging closed dirt roads, stunning picture-postcard scenery and exotic wildlife. Competitors can expect rocky and rutted tracks and unpredictable weather which could instantly transform dry and dusty trails.
Kenya has signed a three year deal with the promoter to run the event as part of the WRC from 2021 to 2023. It’s an exciting project which will create a lot of buzz for the country.
Here are the WRC stages for 2022
Thursday’s lunchtime start in the heart of capital city Nairobi, in the presence of President Uhuru Kenyatta, is followed by what organizers dub a ‘gentle appetizer’ for what is to follow.
The two-at-a-time Super Special Kasarani (4.84km), north-east of the city centre, sends competitors on the 100km journey back to the Kenya Wildlife Training Institute service park in Naivasha.
Friday’s opening leg spans the north and south sides of Lake Naivasha. It starts with Loldia (19.17km), followed by Geothermal (11.68km) – a brand-new stage which climbs over craggy rock-lined hills.
Kedong (31.25km) is the longest stage of the rally. It rounds out the loop before all three are repeated after service, bringing the day’s total to 124.20km.
Roads further north around Lake Elmenteita host Saturday’s monster 150.88km route, the longest leg of the weekend.
The day begins with Soysambu (29.32km), which has been lengthened since last year. Next up is a blast over Elmenteita’s (15.08km) oft-used tracks in the Delamere Estate, followed by Sleeping Warrior (31.04km), set in the shadow of a hill that resembles a Masai warrior lying down. The trio are driven for a second time after service.
Sunday’s finale features three stages – each run twice – located on the southern side of Lake Naivasha.
Oserian (17.93km) and Hell’s Gate (10.53km) sandwich Narasha (13.30km) – another new test which rises from the arid floor of the Rift Valley across historic Maasai grazing lands.
The second pass through Hell’s Gate, which finishes amid stunning scenery at Fishers Tower, forms the Wolf Power Stage with bonus points on offer for drivers and manufacturers. The survivors will then return to Naivasha for the afternoon finish ceremony.
The 19 stages total 363.44km.
Full coverage from Safari Rally Kenya will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.
Also happening is the Koroga Festival WRC 2022 Naivasha edition. A four-day food, fashion and music festival bringing the best talent from across the continent. The 30th edition of The Koroga Festival will be the first ever recreational village where rally fans will be engaged, fed and entertained for 4 days during the WRC Safari Rally Kenya at The Garden, Moi South Lake Road, Naivasha.