NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 16 – Safari Rally Project CEO Phineas Kimathi is optimistic that Kenya will be readmitted to the World Rally Championship calendar despite the anticipated delay in announcing the 2020 calendar by the world governing body, FIA.
Speaking during the prize giving of the KCB National Autocross 9 at Kasarani racetrack, Kimathi noted that the Safari which was dropped from the WRC calendar in 2002, is in a safe place.
“I have just returned from Geneva where we had a series of meetings and I can assure you that Safari is in a safe place,” said Kimathi who is also the chairman of the Kenya motor Sports Federation (KMSF).
The government backed WRC Project based in Kasarani, was introduced two years ago in a bid to help the country regain its lost global status.
Over the weekend, FIA President Jean Todt was quoted as saying that the FIA may delay the release of the 2020 World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar as it is still weighing options after numerous requests from potential host countries.
The 2020 calendar is scheduled to be released in October while Japan and New Zealand are all in line for a slot on next year’s WRC calendar. But more anticipated is the inclusion of the Kenya Safari Rally after what was a successful candidate event in July this year.
However, Todt’s assertions make the Safari Rally return a likelihood in the 2020 series.
“We all know Safari Rally will never be the same again when we had to cover longer distances with open roads. It’s now a proper rally just like any WRC event.
“And everything has drastically improved from the drivers, cars, and safety. The progress is there. We would like to have WRC in different parts of the world to bring out the real definition of the championship,” he told Kawowo Sports in Turkey.