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Kenya president pushing for longer WRC Safari Rally

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The Safari Rally is famend as probably the most gruelling occasion on the WRC schedule testing drivers and groups to absolutely the restrict.

The occasion returned to the WRC calendar in 2021 after a 19-year hiatus however in a a lot shorter format. This yr’s version, operated by a brand new Kenyan organiser, can be contested over 4 days with crews overlaying 367.76 kilometres of timed phases.

Previously, the occasion was thought to be a marathon rally and when it adopted a particular stage format from 1996-2002, it featured 1000km of aggressive checks.

Talking at Thursday’s ceremonial begin for the 2024 version, President Ruto outlined his needs for the occasion to be prolonged sooner or later. 

“The Safari Rally runs for 4 days however we wish to revert to the {old} custom when it featured longer distances. I direct our Sports activities Cupboard Secretary Ababu Namwamba to begin participating the FIA and the Promoter on potentialities of a for much longer model of Safari,” mentioned President Ruto.

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There’s a risk that Ruto’s needs might come to fruition, with the FIA and the WRC Promoter eager to discover the opportunity of extra versatile occasion schedules sooner or later. Introducing quite a lot of endurance and dash rallies to the championship featured as a part of the FIA’s imaginative and prescient for the way forward for top-level rallying, which was launched final month.

Former WRC group boss David Richards, a member of the FIA’s working group, which is behind a raft of proposals to enhance the WRC, instructed media that the world motorsport governing physique is “open-minded” with regards to the format of future occasions.

Takamoto Katsuta, Aaron Johnston, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

Picture by: Toyota Racing

“We are attempting to offer organisers extra scope and freedom to develop the rally that works for them,” he instructed media together with Autosport earlier this month.

“With the assembly in Kenya, they needed to go outdoors Nairobi and have a second base in Mombasa, as an example, and do one thing of that nature.

“Let’s take a look at what they’re proposing and see if it matches in. We’re not saying sure, we’re not saying no, however we’re actually saying let’s take a look at these concepts and see if it really works for the World Rally Championship.

“For the time being I feel we’ve been too prescriptive. We’ve created a system which everybody’s needed to work laborious in direction of, and I feel it isn’t essentially in the very best curiosity of the championship going ahead.”

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