Make Safari Rally better
The stage is set for the toughest event in the International Automobile Federation (FIA) World Rally Championship (WRC)—the Safari Rally—which will start on Thursday for four days.
Even with a full house with an entry of 44 cars, the focus will be on the 12 top-tier Rally1 cars and the 10 in the WRC2 premier support category. The WRC3 cars are also well-represented.
Championship leader Kalle Rovanperä heads the line-up for the sixth round of the season in Toyota Gazoo Racing’s GR Yaris. Eight-time world champion Sébastien Ogier (Toyota Gazoo Racing’s GR Yaris) will be defending his Safari crown. In WRC3, FIA Junior WRC driver McRae Kimathi is one of several local drivers in the19-special stage 365km rally.
Many enthusiasts hope that the Kenya Motor Sports Federation (KMSF) will unleash a better championship. KMSF chairman Phineas Kimathi and his team should uphold or improve high standards set last year. It’s not by chance that FIA extended Safari Rally’s WRC status to 2026.
The 2021 Safari Rally was the most watched event in the year’s WRC Series with over 120 million impressions on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp and Twitter, a new high in the Series’ 53 years. In addition, YouTube recorded 16 million Safari Rally views, exposing the country as a scenic tourism destination. WRC promoters ranked Nation. Africa portal tops in online coverage.
Over Sh6.7 billion was pumped into the economy last year. The huge turnout of sponsors from the government, Kenya Airways, Safaricom, Quickmart Supermarkets and Mozzart Bet to not only support the event but also local drivers is commendable. The safety of the rally drivers and fans will also be paramount, hence road users should be vigilant, obey the Highway Code and remain sober so as to return home safely.