Kenya’s long crave for the World Rally Championship to return to its home in Africa has hit the highest point following a successful candidate event last weekend. 

The 2019 Safari Rally exhibited great organisation; according to the WRC promoter. 

The event was complemented by top government officials including President Uhuru Kenyatta who flagged off the event on Friday along with WRC Promoter Managing Director Oliver Ciesla and FIA officials.

“Safari rally and the organization has shown it is on a reasonably good level and we are optimistic to bring the grand Safari back to the championship. 

“We see so many positives that support our desires to bring WRC back. It was a pleasure to see the support from the highest levels of the government throughout the event. 

“This strong commitment from the president, Safari organizers, and the fans shows its a great ground for us to come back,” said Ciesla.

Oliver Ciesla at the ceremonial stage of Safari rally. (Photo by: Africa rally archives)

The decison for the WRC return now remains in the hands of WRC Promoter and FIA. 

“This event plays the biggest part in the whole process. But we know not all events run smoothly from day one even on the WRC level. 

“It is very much about the organization. How organizers respond to the challenges; if they are fit to react on challenges that happen and make the event continue in a safer manner.

 “It will now require more time to get all the reports together and wait for the results from FIA,” Ciesla added.

President Uhuru Kenyatta revealing their financial commitment to the WRC Safari rally project (photo by: Africa rally archives)

Japan has already been confirmed for a slot next year. Kenya is expected to be announced later this year. 

“Our plan is to build the calendar around 14 rallies per year due to cost reasons for the promoter and the teams. 

“Besides, having the WRC back in Kenya can be a great benefit for both the promoter and Kenya as a country. 

“With a thousand of spectators that can travel to Kenya. Each of them will have to book into hotels and spend on all sorts of things. It will be a direct benefit to the country.”

Safari rally winners with the WRC promoter and goverrment officials

The Safari was last held as a WRC event in 2002.

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