WRC Safari Rally Kenya officially starts today with a flag-off at KICC by President Ruto

Today marks the commencement of the highly anticipated WRC Safari Rally Kenya, with the official flag-off ceremony taking place at KICC under the auspices of President William Ruto.

The event kicks off with a thrilling Super Spectator Stage at Kasarani, spanning 4.84 kilometres, before transitioning to the Service Park in Naivasha for a three-day showcase. Situated at the Kenya Wildlife Research Training Institute, the Service Park serves as the rallying hub, where teams meticulously fine-tune their vehicles and conduct crucial maintenance under the supervision of their dedicated mechanics.

The rally traverses various routes in Naivasha, including Malewa, Loldia, Elementaita, and Soysambu, featuring several spectator stages along the way. The culmination of these routes leads to the Hells Gate National Park, where the closing ceremony will take place amidst the announcement of the winners.

Preceding the main event, on Wednesday, rally drivers engaged in a demanding 5.4-kilometre shakedown at Loldia Ranch within the Ndulele Conservancy, offering them a preview of the terrain and an opportunity to fine-tune their cars for the rally’s challenges and prevailing weather conditions.

While the shakedown does not contribute towards earning points, a commendable performance serves as a morale boost for the teams, providing valuable insights into their preparedness for the main event.

President Ruto, in his address on Tuesday, extended a warm welcome to the participating drivers and urged Kenyans to flock to Naivasha to witness the spectacle. He highlighted the significance of hosting the world’s toughest motor rallying contest, emphasizing the display of human ingenuity and endurance amidst the breathtaking rugged terrain, showcasing automotive engineering excellence in the epic struggle that defines the WRC Safari Rally.

Acknowledged as one of the most demanding rallies on the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) calendar, the event has drawn the attention of FIA Vice-President for Sport Africa and FIA World Motor Sport Council member, Rodrigo Rocha, who will be in attendance.

As per the FIA schedule, Friday’s itinerary comprises three stages split on either side of the Naivasha service halt. Saturday’s activities center around Lake Elmenteita to the north of Naivasha, featuring three repeated stages, including the elongated Sleeping Warrior, now spanning 36.08 kilometres, making it the longest stage of the rally.

Sunday’s decisive leg commences with the Malewa stage, followed by the Oserengoni stage, named after the wildlife conservancy estate where it is situated. The concluding challenge, the 10.53-kilometre Hell’s Gate test, hosts the Wolf Power Stage from 14:15, determining the final standings of the rally.