NAIROBI, Kenya, May 15 – The highly anticipated 2020 Safari Rally World Rally Championship (WRC) event that was scheduled for July 16-19 has now been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has announced.
The Safari Rally was warming up to return to the WRC calendar after meetings last year between the FIA, Kenyan government and the Kenya Motorsports Federation and excitement was already peak with the route already mapped out.
“We are grateful to the patron, HE President Uhuru Kenyatta for his unwavering support and counsel as we deliberated on the next best steps. We also owe great gratitude to the president of the FIA Mr. Jean Todt and the WRC promoter led by Oliver Cielsa for their unyielding support since we commenced engagements to return the Safari Rally to the WRC circuit,” the statement from the CS said.
The spread of the coronavirus has continually made it difficult for the new season of the World Rally Championship to continue with several events already postponed as the world limits international travel and sports gatherings.
The Argentina, Portugal and Italy legs of the Championship have already been postponed to later dates and while many expected the season to restart in Kenya in July, the hopes have now been dashed.
According to the Calendar, the next rally would have been in Finland in August before New Zealand and Turkey in September, Germany in October while Wales and Japan were to close the season in November.
“The organizing team continues to work hard to ensure that we deliver a world-class event. We are at an advanced stage to complete the Service Park located in Nakuru County and are in line with the set completion timelines,” Safari Rally Project CEO Phineas Kimathi stated.
He added; “We encourage the drivers and all stakeholders to keep in touch with the secretariat as we ready ourselves for the new dates.”