KMSF chairman Phineas Kimathi signing the aggreement as WRC Promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla observes

The vision of Safari rally Returning to World Rally Championship (WRC) series is getting more vivid following a promotional agreement signed between the government of Kenya and WRC promoters in Paris, France on Tuesday.

The agreement grants Kenya hosting rights for a WRC candidate event in 2019 .

The Kenyan delegation led by the Sports and Heritage Principle Secretary Peter Kaberia, Kenya Motorsports Federation chairman, Phineas Kimathi among others met with the WRC promoter managing director Oliver Ciesla in a presence of FIA president Jean Todt to add another milestone to the Kenyan ambitions of having WRC back for the first time since 2002.

“This signing is a major milestone and a day we have looked forward to for a very longtime. Arriving at this point is a great pleasure,” says Kaberia.

“Our government is very committed to the Safari rally, and we will do everything in our power to make sure this great event is brought back to WRC,” he added.

FIA president Jean Todt was in attendance as the signing was going on

WRC Promoter managing director already relishes the opportunity that has come to Africa yet again.

“It has long been a key part of the calendar development strategy to take the WRC back to Africa and fulfil the dreams of our fans to restore this mythical event,” said Oliver Ciesla.

“This agreement reflects our determination to restore a legendary rally to the championship and reinstate Africa to the top table of world rallying after an absence of more than a decade,” he added.

Kenya will now host the WRC candidate event in March or April 2019.

Subject to it achieving high-level standards in key areas such as safety and organisation, WRC Promoter intends to propose the Safari’s inclusion in the WRC for an initial three-year period from 2020 to 2022.

Kenya’s campaign to return to WRC took a step forward in 2015 when the FIA president Jean Todt visited Kenya. He met the Kenya president Uhuru Kenyatta who promised his full support to have WRC back.

In the same year, Kenya was requested to turn back to the Africa Rally Championship series as one way to push for the WRC project.

Safari Rally eventually returned to the Africa Rally Championship series in 2016 after two years away.

In February this year, the campaign took a stronger move when Jean Todt officially launched the  WRC Safari Rally Project in Kenya.

This year’s Safari Rally played another role to the campaign as it was observed by WRC officials; Oliver Ciesla and Simon Larkin.

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