the Inter-national Federation of Auto-mobile (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
He, however, 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 2020.
“Of course 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
“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
With FIA 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