The 2019 Safari Rally has met the entire FIA criterion according to Sports Principal Secretary Ambassador Kirimi Kaberia.
Speaking during a media conference at Kasarani Stadium, the PS retaliated that the government is keen on seeing Kenya return to the World Rally Championship.
“The government has worked round the clock to ensure that the Safari Rally returns to the WRC, Funding and preparations are done. We have no challenges except for time. It has been long coming and we hope to deliver a successful event. We are confident that we will bring back the Safari to world status next year,” the PS said.
He added, “Safari is part of our national priority and can’t be discounted. The steering committee has done what’s necessary and it’s all systems go. We are ready and upbeat that Friday will be good.”
The Project CEO Mr. Phineas Kimathi announced that the Rally will rev off Kasarani stadium on Friday morning followed by a 4.8 KM Super Special stage outside the main stadium. Sports Principal Secretary Peter Kaberia tried his hands in a rally car. He will drive the route opening car at the Kasarani Super Special Stage on Friday.
“Kasarani stadium is hosting the Safari for the first time and offers Nairobi fans an opportunity to watch cars competing in the city. On Saturday, fans from Nairobi and Nakuru can view cars at Soysambu which is 10km from Lanet. Cars will go through the stage twice. Spectators who wish can catch up with the cars at Kedong where the last car should cross the finish at 2pm” said Phineas.
Delegates of the International Motorsport Federation (FIA) are in Kenya to assess the country’s capacity to return to the world rally championship status.
WRC Safari Project CEO Phineas Kimathi said the route has been selected and designed to suit spectators’ needs.
FIA delegates led by legendary Michelle Mouton are set to oversee various facets of the WRC Candidature event.
Michele who is the Safety delegate will be flanked by other senior officials of the FIA according to FIA liaison Surrinder Thatthi.
This year’s Safari Rally which flags off on Friday July 5 at Kasarani Stadium be the test-case for Kenya’s compliance with the conditions imposed by FIA before the WRC status is restored. FIA Liaison Officer Surrinder Thatthi said Mouton will give a comprehensive report to the FIA Safety Commission at the conclusion of the three-day Safari Rally event.
The 2019 Safari Rally will see crews begin with a 4.5km Super Special Stage to be held within the vicinity of the stadium. Two sporting delegates, Timo Rautianen and Andrew Wheatly, will report on the sporting aspects of the Safari, while Cem Bonvell from Turkey will assess and report on the medical aspects. These delegates hold the key to Kenya’s return to global status.
“FIA has a great desire to come back to Africa following FIA President Jean Todt’s visit to the country last year. It is evident that FIA is sympathetic to Kenya’s bid on WRC status. The medical delegate is also very happy and has been working hand in hand with the local medical experts,” Mr. Thatthi said.
KCB Group Marketing and Communication Director Angela Mwirigi said the bank is proud to be associated with the Safari for the years the country was stripped of WRC status by supporting the Kenya National Rally Championship.