NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 13 – The Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) President Jean Todt will officially open the WRC Safari Rally Project new headquarters at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani on February 27.
The government gazetted two committees – Steering and Organising – last year to roll out a road map towards the WRC status, 15 years since the Safari departed from the 13-rounds series, under the aegis of the WRC Safari Rally Project.
However, his biggest engagement of the day is unveiling the 5000 square foot Safari headquarters at block 8/9 of the main stadium where most pre-Safari events will be held including scrutineering.
This is the third visit by Todt, a great Safari fan and navigator and formerly Chief Executive Officer of Scuderia Ferrari F1 team, to Kenya but the first to meet the motorsports authorities at their own premises for a more comprehensive engagement.
However, Kimathi has been holding talks with Todt, the FIA top brass and the World Championship Media and Commercial rights holder, the WRC Promoter Managing Director Oliver Ciesla for the last two years regarding the Safari’s future.
In 2015 Todt met with President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House Nairobi soon after being appointed the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Road Safety where the future of a WRC Safari Rally was discussed.
Action from a past rally event
“If all the processes are followed we see no reason why Kenya cannot make it back to the WRC. So far we are very impressed with the Kenya National Rally Championship as one of the best run events in Africa,”
“But the new standards of rallying must be respected. What was possible back then when events ran on open roads is not possible these days with the population. Rallies must now be organised on closed roads,” Todt said.