NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 22 – Despite regaining it’s global status in September, the legendary Safari Rally still retains a slot on the 2020 FIA African Rally Championship (ARC) which revs off with Rallye Bandama of ivory Coast early next year.
The Safari Rally has been run as a round of the ARC since 2003 after Kenya lost its global status.
The 2020 ARC calendar was confirmed recently retaining a seven round Championship following a World Motorsport Council converged in Paris, France during the 2019 Annual General Assembly to pass all regulations and regional calendars.
The iconic event, first run in 1953 to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, will double up as the eighth round of the World Rally Championship (WRC) on 16 – 19 July marking the beginning of the second half of the 2020 campaign in the wake of a mid-season break.
Rallye Côte d’Ivoire Bandama in Ivory Coast remains as the ARC opener on the weekend of 20-23 February.
Rally of South Africa will still remains the second event on the continental calendar.
The notable change reflects in the Rwanda Rally coming earlier in the year.
The event will run in May. Rwanda has featured as the final championship round for the last two years.
The Zambia International Motor Rally will be hosted in June.
Rally of Tanzania will wind the season later in September.
Although Uganda maintained the month of August, it will instead play the penultimate round next season.
The Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally will be run under a yellow card following various safety issues in last year’s event.
The event must improve its safety measures or risk losing the ARC round in future.
It is not the first time that Uganda receives FIA safety warnings.
In 2016, Uganda’s report on the ARC event rose several safety concerns and despite efforts made, there has been a regressing in that department.
Burundi is a likely candidate for events after 2020 following recognisable improvements in hosting events.
FIA African Rally Championship
20-23 February Ivory Coast Rallye Côte d’Ivoire Bandama
23-25 April South Africa Rally of South Africa
15-17 May Rwanda Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally
19-21 June Zambia Zambia International Rally
16-19 July Kenya Safari Rally Kenya
14-16 August Uganda Pearl of Africa Uganda Rally
18-20 September Tanzania Rally of Tanzania