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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

FIA boss Jean Todt to visit Kenya for Safari Rally re-admission

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Organizers of Kenya’s premier motor racing event, the Safari Rally believe a visit by International Federation of Automobile (FIA) President Jean Todt this month will clear all hurdles before the event is re-admitted to the World Rally Championship.

It has been 15 years since the Safari rally was axed from the then 14-tier World Rally Championships mainly due to poor safety measures, lack of sponsorship and government support.

With Todt third visit in four years set for Feb 27, Kenya expect to clear any pending hurdles to reclaim their global status.

Phineas Kimathi, Kenya’s head of the Organizing Committee selected to work on modalities to return the event to the WRC, said by 2020 Safari Rally will be part of the global racing circuit.

"It is true Todt is returning for another visit. He has since met president Uhuru Kenyatta and other top sports officials.

"The government has given its assurance and there is goodwill from corporate firms to support the event," he said.

Todt said it will make the WRC complete by having one leg in Africa in order to have a global appeal.

"Africa is a very key region for the FIA but the necessary guarantees set by the FIA must be met for Safari Rally to be readmitted," he said.

The Safari Rally, which is arguably the most difficult rally to conquer, started in 1953 as part of the coronation for the England Queen and remained the top spot in the WRC until 2002.

Currently the WRC is staged in Monaco, Sweden, Mexico, France, Argentina, Portugal, Italy, Poland, Finland, Germany, Spain, England and Australia.

             

 

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