NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 29 – Following suspension of all sporting events in the country, Kenya Motor Sport Federation (KMSF) is engaging relevant authorities on possibilities of hosting ARC Equator Rally next month.
KMSF Chairman Phineas Kimathi, in a statement to announce suspension of all planned motorsports events in the country, said: “The African Rally Championship (ARC) Equator Rally- scheduled to be held in Kenya from April 23-25, 2021- will be the subject of discussion with all stakeholders next week (this week) and a decision will be taken and communicated in good time.”
The Equator event, which is part of the FIA African Rally Championship (ARC), was to act as a dry run of the WRC Safari Rally which is slated for June 24-27.
Equator, which was to count towards the 8-leg Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC), had already attracted several drivers from Asia and Africa. Among them were Oman based Minti Motorsport’s Joey Ghose, Kenya’s rising star Karan Patel and former Ugandan Champion Ronald Ssebuguzi.
Ghose, a well-known former KNRC contender and established Safari Rally driver, was hoping to feel the Equator route which had been scheduled to run six stages from the WRC Safari route.
The first motor sport event to be suspended in Kenya was KCB Machakos Rally, initially planned to run entirely on Lisa Farm last Sunday (March 28). Kimathi, who is also the CEO of WRC Safari Rally Kenya, said new dates of Machakos Rally will be communicvated at a later date.
In the statement, KImathi said: “Following the announcement by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta restricting movement in the counties of Machakos, Nairobi, Kiambu , Kajiado and Nakuru and the suspension of all sporting events, the KMSF hereby puts on hold all motorsports events in the country.”
Kimathi added: “With the strong rollout of the vaccination campaign led by His Excellency President Uhuru Muigai Kenyatta, his cabinet and other senior officials, we remain optimistic the pandemic will be suppressed allowing the uninterrupted hosting of the WRC Safari Rally Kenya scheduled for June 2021.”
The Safari Rally is set to make a comeback to the global stage after a 19-year hiatus.