The Safari Rally has officially returned to the FIA African Rally Championship series after a two-year hiatus.
Kenya Motor Sport Federation chairman Phineas Kimathi, said the comeback to the continental series was granted and ratified by the FIA World Motor Sports Council for the iconic event to run as an ARC in March 2017.
Kimathi said the journey to regain the Safari’s lost global status, will start with the event running as part of the ARC series after which the 2018 event will be a World Rally Championship candidate event.
The Safari will be the second event on the Kenya National Rally Championship series, which revs off on January 28 with the prestigious Mombasa Rally which will be organized by Mombasa Motor Club on 100 percent private land around North Coast’s Vipingo Ridge. Safari will also serve as the second event in the ARC after the world-famous Rallye Bandana of Ivory Coast slated for February 11-12.
“During the CACMS Congress in Addis Ababa, the entire region of Africa agreed to support just one event; which was the Safari to rejoin the WRC. South Africa dropped its bid and agreed that they will back Safari’s return to the FIA world series. Luckily, the FIA President Jean Todt was in Addis to witness the occasion which unanimously backed Kenya’s bid. As a country, we agreed that for the Safari to get back on track, we have to return to the ARC and that’s where we are starting our journey,” said Kimathi.
The 2017 Kenyan motorsport season has the motocross season kicking off at Jamhuri Park on the same weekend with KNRC 1 in Mombasa. The motocross season starts in January and ends with the second round of the FIM Africa CAC at Jamhuri on December 10-12. The season opening round of the National Autocross series will be organised by Nanyuki Rally Group on the weekend of February 4-5. The four-round Kenya National Rally Raid season begins on March 4-5 and ends in October.Eldoret Rally will be held in May with the Rallye Sports Club round running in June. Guru Nanak Rally will be held in October with the KMSC Rally closing the calendar in November.
The ten leg national karting championship begins in February in Solai and ends in October. The National Enduro Championship will feature five rounds starting in February and ending in early November.