The 4.30km Super Special Stages at the Moi International Sports Centre (MISC), Kasarani will zoom off the 67th Safari on July 5.
This is after the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) approved Supplementary Regulations and granted the Safari Rally a permit to run as a World Rally Championship (WRC) Candidate Event and the Africa Rally Championship (ARC) round.
The Super Special will be the highlight of the opening day, where cars will race side by side within the expansive Moi Stadium, Kasarani open grounds offering a un-obstructed view of the action which starts at 10:26 am.
The WRC Safari Rally Project CEO Phineas Kimathi said the other highlight is the ceremonial start outside the President Entrance of the main stadium pavilion— a shift from the traditional Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi’s Central Business District because of changes of rules pertaining to managerial and technical.
Rally fans in central Kenya will have a rare opportunity to watch the cars pass through sleepy villages as the drivers will use Thika Road past Exit 14 into Kenyatta Road on their way to the pristine Gatamaiyo Forest gate via Munduru and Kiganjo.
The 17km stage in Gatamaiyo Forest will offer the rally traffic real test over an altitude of 2000 metres in a span of 55km from Kasarani. Visibility might be minimal depending on prevailing weather or sticky if it rains. The stage ends 1km before Soko Mjinga on Nairobi/Nakuru Highway.
The cars will then turn right towards Naivasha town for service and overnight halt at Sopa Lodge along Moi North Road. Kimathi said the Safari will be observed by FIA appointed observer/steward Alain Ambrosino, who was fifth in 1985 Safari Rally, technical delegate Chris Birkin and chairman of Stewards Satinder Birdi.
More prominent personalities including FIA Safety delegate Michelle Mouton, the 1982 WRC second overall from FIA and WRC Promoter are expected to come and watch the Safari which has been included in the 2020 WRC draft calendar.
The Safari will be 881km long—divided into eight stages for three days. Day 2 will see the contestants leave Sopa at 6:45 pm and head towards Soysambu Ranch,10km past Gilgil town. Six stages—Soysambu, Elementaita and Sleeping Warrior—measuring 126km will be tackled in the action-packed day with designated spectator stages offering a birds-eye view of the action up and close.
Day 3 will shift to Naivasha area with three stages namely Malewa, Loldia and Kedong which will be 110km repeated twice. Some of the important timelines include May 21 when entries open at the Rally secretariat at Kasarani Stadium. They close on June 19 with a complete list published the following day.
Media accreditation in conformity with the FIA regulations opens on May 27 and close on June 20 for locals and June 27th for international journalists.
The Rally week starts on July 1 when the Nairobi headquarters will be opened and that of Sopa two days later. Recce and scrutineering are scheduled for July 3-4.