The strong likelihood for Safari Rally Kenya to regain its World Rally Championship (WRC) status makes not only the fans optimistic but also the current championship drivers.
Safari rally lost its WRC status 17 years ago but the event, once described as the world’s toughest, got a lease of life with a WRC candidate event last July
Now more with the possibility of making it on the 2020 WRC event line-up, I sought the views of some WRC drivers during my trip on the WRC round in Turkey.
Kris Meeke – Toyota Gazoo Racing
Safari Rally is an event I remember watching on TV when growing up. But I am sure it’s not the same event like before.
We all don’t know what the event is like. Our engineers attended the candidate event but not until we see it ourselves.
Esapekka Lappi – Citroen Racing Team
Honestly, I don’t know what to expect if Safari Rally is added. I don’t know anything about the event and what the roads are like.
But it is nice to explore something new especially in a country like Kenya. The event has lots of history behind and it would be great if its back.
But I think it’s good to have new events from what we are used to. I am sure it can be a real adventure for us.
Teemu Suninen – M-Sport Ford Racing
It would truly be interesting to have the Safari rally. I like different rallies and Safari would be pretty different from what we have.
I heard that it is quite tough and one would need good strategies to avoid incidences. We need such challenging events.
Jari Matti Latvala – Toyota Gazoo Racing
Last year, I went to Kenya for my holidays after hearing lots of stories about Safari.
My father had his best finish with Safari Rally when he came eleventh overall in 2001. I will be glad to be part of it as well.
What I can say, Kenya has the best nature. It is a combination of so many things.
It will be an exciting event if added since none of us has been there before.
Thierry Neuville – Hyundai Motorsport
Obviously, I have seen several pictures from rallies in Africa. Also, my co-driver was part of the historic event. But I don’t know really much about the current Safari.
I would really be delighted to have Safari Rally. It is always good to get a new event on the calendar that provides different challenges from what we have.
Safari should be exciting with new roads, new challenges as well as adventure.
Ott Tanak – Toyota Gazoo Racing
It sounds like an interesting event. I don’t know much about Africa, have only visited South Africa for a few days. It is difficult to imagine the event.
If Kenya is added, then it should be nice since everything new comes with good experience.
I honestly like to win new rallies because they come with big challenges like new roads and they make you more focused unlike going into the rally for the second time it becomes a little hard.
Andreas Mikkelsen – Hyundai Racing
We have always heard about Safari, how special and unique it was.
With all the events that could be added next year, if Safari is in, then it will be nice for every driver having to be part of a totally new event in Africa.
We have many rallies which are quite similar. Something new would be great.