NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 3 – Organisers of the Safari Rally World Rally Championships have intensified preparations ahead of the global event to run around the scenic route in the Great Rift Valley from June 24 -27.
The asphalt Service Park that has dimensions of 220m by 90m, based at Naivasha’s Kenya Wildlife Service Training School is set to become the biggest ever in the history of World Rally Championship (WRC).
Safari Rally CEO Phineas Kimathi during a media route tour revealed that the designated service area will become one of it’s kind when construction works are complete before June.
The asphalt area will be the designated zone where World Rally Championship Priority 1, 2 and 3 teams will be servicing their cars. Contractors are currently working round the clock to complete an ultramodern Presidential Pavilion adjacent to the Service Park area.
Kimathi, who is also the Kenya Motor Sport Federation (KMSF), Chairman noted that the service area will transform into a mega city of its kind where WRC teams will carry out the bulk of their activities on arrival.
It will comprise of several other facets of the WRC kind including the media zone, parking for VIPs and teams.
“Several containers will be shipped to the country through to the Naivasha dry port. The containers will create a small city around the Service Park area which is what will add immense zest to the event. The essence of this infrastructure is to ensure we run an A1 WRC event. The cars will all be fixed right here at the service park. So, it will be a beehive of activity,” Kimathi revealed.
The fabled Safari Rally is set to return to the WRC calendar for the first time in 19 years.
The event’s return to the global arena was initially scheduled for last year but was postponed to 2021 when the COVID-19 pandemic stepped in and set those plans back by 12 months.
Safari’s Super Special Stage (SSS) will be based at Kasarani Stadium with the power stage being run at Hell’s Gate.
Among the stages that will be run on Safari include Elementaita, Sleeping Warrior, Loldia, Malewa and Kedong among others.
Ceremonial Start will be at the iconic KICC. Kedong ranch, located on the foothills of Mt. Longonot, and on the shores of Lake Naivasha, will feature 21 designated media filming points.
World Rally teams this year are Germany based Hyundai Motorsport, Britain based M-Sport Ford and Toyota Gazoo Racing.
Hyundai has the likes of Ott Tanak of Estonia, Thirty Neuville (Belgium), Dani Sordo of Soain and Craig Green of Ireland.
M-Sport Ford has Gus Greensmith (GB), Teemu Suninen (Finland), Adrien Fourmaux (France) and Italian Lorenzo Bertelli.
Toyota Gazoo Racing is fielding the likes of Sebastien Ogier of France, Elfyn Evans, Kalle Rovanpera of Finland, Japanese Takamoto Katsuta.
-Additional reporting by Attex Motorsports-