NAIROBI, Kenya, June 17 – Newly elected Kenya Motorsport Federation (KMSF) will attend the 4th annual FIA Sport Conference in Turin, Italy June 21-23, to sell the Safari Rally to the most powerful gathering of motorsport decision makers in the world.
Kimathi will meet the World Rally Championship (WRC) Promoter and initiate discussions on Kenya’s WRC bid 2018 by running a candidate event next year.
The WRC Promoter, a joint venture between the Sportsman Media Group of Germany and Red Bull Media House, is responsible for investing and developing the WRC profile, reputation and commercial value.
The promoter, working in close collaboration with the FIA, determines the calendar of events and has been focusing on introducing live television and an innovative digital media strategy to sustain the global television reach of FIA World Championship to 800 million people worldwide annually.
This is a first major practical stride for Kenya which for the last 14 years has failed to convince FIA to return the Safari in the WRC.
Kimathi has already held discussions with high ranking government officials and promised support to put a put forward a strong Kenyan case.
Last year’s Safari met most FIA thresholds on safety and route concept by running the event in closed roads and in the Kenyan situation private land.
FIA is expected to announce the 2017 calendar after receiving bids from 13 economic power houses of Ireland, Japan, Jordan, New Zealand, Turkey, Abu Dhabi, Canada, Chile, Croatia, India, South Korea, Malaysia and Russia.
Kimathi has already spoken with FIA president Jean Todt, who at a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta last year in Kenya, pledged his personal support for the Safari.
Kimathi will be banking on Todt’s position on WRC geographical representation.
Todt recently expressed concerns that the WRC was too heavily focused on European events, with just four of the fourteen rallies held as part of the 2016 season being run outside Europe.
Kimathi will be basing his case on this among other things including total government support and local sponsorship.
Kimathi will be fielding the state of the art timing system purchased by a local Telco company, Liquid Telecom as part of KMSF upgrade time table.
The FIA Sport Conference brings together gathers FIA National Sports Associations (ASNs) and stakeholders from all over the world to meet, discuss and learn – the intention being to inform and educate the FIA community, with input from some of the best and brightest in the world of motor sport.
The Sport Conference is focused on the bigger picture thinking, such as the direction of the sport and emerging trends.
This aim is to provide an environment that will see delegates return to their home countries invigorated and brimming with ideas and knowledge to assist them in achieving best practice in their own motor sport endeavours.
For the fourth edition of the event, the FIA will gather delegates from more than 100 sporting clubs and a variety of other stakeholders in one of the most motoring-centric cities in the world; Turin.