NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 28 – The recently concluded 2021 ARC Equator Rally has been given a nod by the FIA Safety team, a sign of good things to come ahead of the WRC Safari Rally slated for June 24-27.
The FIA Safety report compiled by William Andrew Louw, indicates that Kenya ticked all the boxes after the just ended ARC Equator Rally.
According to the report released April 28, it states that there was a detailed audit done on practically every aspect of the event.
As per Rally regulations, The FIA Delegate had access to every section of the rally, the Low Density Areas (LDA) And High Density Areas (HAD), the rally route and all the areas that are necessary for the smooth flowing event and was meant to put together a report to grade Kenya’s performance and preparedness to the WRC Safari Rally.
The score card has four levels A for Above Standards, C for complies with standards, B for Below Standards and U for Unacceptable.
According the Louws report; Kenya scored an A in its Safety Plan for the ARC Equator Rally.
“Every requirement as set out in the safety plan was put in place. Run-off areas were clear, escape routes clear, joining roads blocked off and guarded and all alternative gates locked. All my recommendations were followed and in place for the event. Very well done to the teams on each stage,” Louw said.
Other areas that received his praise during the ARC Equator were the Radio points and the Marshals. Louw commended the Safety Marshalls saying “A very large compliment of officials were on ground. All were competent, in place and enthusiastic. Signage was clear and visible.”
He was also impressed by the security for the event that saw 245 Police and 103 Rangers who were clearly visible along the route. “The number is set to increase for the WRC Safari Rally,” said Norris Ongalo the Chief of Safety.s.
The safety of both the drivers and spectators was one of the reasons that the Safari Rally lost its WRC Status close to 20 years ago, thus the effort that Norris Ongalo has put into streamlining the event safety to bring it to world class standards and FIA Expectations.
Norris says that despite the clean bill of health, he still sees a few areas that he needs to improve on. He will be working closer with the environmental and Security teams to streamline the handling of fans when and if they return to the Spectator a
Norris has a few key areas he intends to work on. He is determined to improve the Marshalls deployment, ensure that all safety teams from the Technical Intervention vehicle (TIV) to the spectator safety teams, fire trucks to air rescue, all get to recce the entire rally route so that they are mentally prepared for the task ahead of them and they know what is expected of them come the WRC Safari Rally.
Despite the “Above Standard” Norris still sees room for improvement as Kenya is set out to host the best rally drivers in the world during an event that will be televised to a global audience of over 80 million people.
The other areas saw Kenya pass with a “meets standards” grade in Reconnaissance. Shakedown, Safety Delegates car, time controls start and finish, stages sporting for competitors, spectator interest and the average speeds for the drivers.
The ARC Equator Rally also scored highly in the chicanes, artificial jumps, stage signage, protection of dangerous points like bridges, access and escape roads, road surface, Media, refueling, marshals’ numbers, safety briefings and much more