2019 Rally Turkey Podium Credit: Redbull Content Center

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. 

Jari Matti Latvala and Sharifah Namagoba Credit: Jarno Saari

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. 

Kris Meeke (R) Credit: Redbull Content Pool

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. 

Esapekka Lapp Credit: Redbull Content Pool

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. 

Teemu Suninen Credit: Redbull Content Pool

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.

Jari Matti Latvala Credit: Redbull Content Pool

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. 

Thierry Neuville Credit: Redbull Content Pool

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. 

Ott Tanak Credit: Redbull Content Pool

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. 

Andreas Mikkelsen Credit: Redbull Content Pool

Leave a comment

Please let us know what you think