South Korean multinational automotive manufacturer Hyundai and England-based auto racing team M-Sport will send officials to Kenya in time for the reconnaissance of the 2019 Safari Rally next week.
Chairman of World Rally Championship Safari Rally Project, Phineas Kimathi, has expressed excitement at the prospect of the officials coming to Kenya ahead of the Safari Rally which will be held as a World Rally Championship (WRC) candidate event.
“When professional teams show interest in participating, it really gives us encouragement and hope of getting the WRC status next year. I am happy with the news,” said Kimathi.
Hyundai’s Pablo’s Marcos and Krzysztof Stolarczyk from the Ford M-sport team are expected to arrive on Wednesday in the time for the recce.
The decision of the two officials to come to Nairobi is testament to the faith their teams have put in Safari Rally.
However, none of the professional teams will be actively taking part in this year’s Safari Rally, which will run as FIA World Rally Championship Candidate Event. Both Hyundai and Ford are actively involved in the current rounds of World Rally Championship season.
This year’s Safari Rally, which will feature 51 crews, will be flagged off at Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani, on July 5 from 11am.
Cars will then head to the Super Special Stage on a head-to-head competition of two drivers in the 4.5km stage.
They will then head to the 12km Gatamaiyo Forest stage via Thika Super Highway and pass through Exit 14 onto Kenyatta Road.