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Safari retains Africa Rally Championship slot

KCB Kenya National Rally Champion Baldev Chager is the defending champion of the Safari. Photo/SIMION MULUMBA

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.

KCB Kenya National Rally Champion Baldev Chager is the defending champion of the Safari. Photo/SIMON MULUMBA

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.

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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

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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

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