-- Kenya’s premier motorsport
event Safari rally will in 2019 be staged as a candidate
event for the World rally Championships (WRC), officials
said on Thursday.
Thatthi, the International Federation of Automobile (FIA)
Africa vice president said on Thursday the event, which
will be held on March. 17-18 will only serve as the
second round of the Africa Rally Championship.
warned that safety of spectators and drivers is
paramount if they are to continue on their path to
returning to the 13-tier World Rally Championships in
this year’s race will have the FIA and WRC Promoter on
the ground. They are keen to see what we are planning
for the 2019 candidate event, which will determine if we
will be allowed to return to the WRC,” said Thatthi.
“If we meet
the standards required and get government support and
finances and impress FIA officials, then Kenya will host
a WRC round at least three years from now,” said Thatthi.
It is 15
years since the Safari rally was axed from the World
Rally Championships mainly due to poor safety measures,
lack of sponsorship and government support.
President Jean Todt expected in the country next week,
Kenya will seek to tie down the loose ends and pledge to
fund and support the event to have it back to the WRC.
It will be Todt’s third visit in four years to Kenya.
Todt, in his
second visit in 2016, said it will make the WRC complete
by having one leg in Africa in order to have a global
appeal. Currently the WRC is staged in Monaco, Sweden,
Mexico, France, Argentina, Portugal, Italy, Poland,
Finland, Germany, Spain, England and Australia.
“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.
Rally, which is arguably the most difficult rally to
conquer, started in 1953 and remained the top spot in
the WRC until 2002.