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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Organizers restrict Safari Rally entry to 60 drivers amid conditions

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Regional drivers from East Africa will have to be vetted and ranked before competing in this year’s Safari Rally, as Kenya Motor Sport Federation (KMSF) President Phineas Kimathi and event organizers confirmed on Tuesday that entry would be limited to just 60 cars.

The Safari Rally serves as part of the Africa Rally Championship (ARC) and will run as a candidate event for the World Rally Championship (WRC).

Running from July 5 to 8, the rally will be held on closed roads in Naivasha and Nakuru, rather than on open public roads through Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya as usual.

"Traditional open-road competitive sections have been replaced by smoother special stages in private estates and conservancies, and a comprehensive safety plan is in place to support a rally organized to the current WRC format," WRC managing director Oliver Ciesla said.

The starting order will be determined by the ARC seeding system based on special stage times.

Where appropriate, the top seeded local driver will start first in every country where ARC rounds are held.

A further rotation of the top four drivers registered for the championship may also be implemented.

The WRC last used the Safari Rally as part of its 14-leg championship in 2002, with Colin McRae and Nicky Grist taking victory in a Ford Focus RS.

The event featured on the WRC calendar right from the championship’s inception in 1973, until it was dropped owing to funding issues.

             

 

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