What you need to know:
- The rally will kick off with “Shakedown” at the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) in Naivasha before the event is officially flagged off from Uhuru Park in Nairobi on Thursday, June 22.
- After a competitive stage at the Kasarani grounds, cars will then head for an overnight rest halt at the KWS in Naivasha.
Preparations for the 2023 Safari Rally are at an advanced stage a month to the major event with organisers busy firming up the competition’s final route.
The Safari Rally is one of the 14 rounds of the 2023 World Rally Championship run under the International Automobile Federation (FIA) banner.
This will be the third year for the Safari to run as a World Rally Championship event after an absence of 19 years from the global circuit.
It is hoped there will be better interest from the local drivers than what was seen in the Nakuru Rally where only eight cars entered the Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) round and only four finished.
So far there are only 11 local crews from the entry list of 34 cars which includes drivers from foreign nations and crews from the manufacturer teams of Toyota, Ford and Hyundai.
World and Safari Rally defending champion Kalle Rovanpera and co-driver Jonne HalitTunen lead the Toyota Yaris GR R1 Hybrid team.
Reigning KNRC champions Karan Patel and Tauseef Khan head the list of the local drivers in the rally which will also count towards the 2023 KNRC standings.
The total distance of the WRC Safari Rally will be 1192.47 kilometres, of which the Competitive Stage distance will be 356.98 kilometres.
The surface will be all gravel.
The rally will kick off with “Shakedown” at the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) in Naivasha before the event is officially flagged off from Uhuru Park in Nairobi on Thursday, June 22.
After a competitive stage at the Kasarani grounds, cars will then head for an overnight rest halt at the KWS in Naivasha.
The main action will kick off on Friday, June 23 with the following stages: SS2 & SS2 Loldia 19.17kms, SS3 & SS2 Geothermal 13.12kms, SS4 & SS2 Kedong 30.48kms.
Saturday 24 June: SS8 & SS11 Soysambu 29.32kms, SS9 & SS12 Elementaita 15.08kms, SS10 & SS13 Sleeping Warrior 31.04kms.
Sunday 23 June: SS14 &SS17 Malew 9kms, SS15 & SS18 Oserian 18.33kms, SS16 & SS19 Hell’s Gate 10.53kms.
There will be a total of 19 Spectator Stages with a total distance of 356.98Kms.