Kenya will continue hosting World Rally Championship (WRC) Safari Rally consecutively until 2026, President Uhuru Kenyatta announced on 27th June.
According to the president, the government has secured the hosting rights for the event from the International Automobile Federation (FIA) and the WRC after years of intense lobbying and preparations.
“It gives me great pleasure, therefore, to announce, that we have agreed, with the International Automobile Federation (FIA) and the World Rally Championship (WRC), to continue hosting the Safari Rally in Kenya, every year until 2026,” said President Kenyatta
“I commit the required financial investment towards another successful championship in Kenya,” he said in a statement as he presided over the presentation of prizes to winners of the 2021 WRC Safari Rally in Naivasha.
President Uhuru Kenyatta announces that an agreement has been reached between GoK, FIA and WRC to hold Safari Rally every year, until the year 2026. #WRCSafariRally2021
— Spokesperson GoK (@SpokespersonGoK) June 27, 2021
The gruelling three-day event was won by French driver Sebastien Ogier, followed by his Toyota teammate Takamoto Kasutsa of Japan. Hyundai’s Ott Tanak of Estonia finished the third.
Onkar Rai navigated by Drew Sturrock was the highest-ranked Kenyan driver in position seven followed by Karan Patel and Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo in eighth and ninth positions, respectively.
According to Kenyatta, with the successful hosting of the 2021 WRC Safari Rally, Kenya has demonstrated to the world that it was prepared to host global events despite the logistical challenges posed by COVID-19.
“I am proud to say that after a 19 year-long pause, the Safari Rally is back home! Our efforts have paid off. We have staged a remarkable 2021 World Rally Championship (WRC) Safari Rally that has challenged both man and machine, and which will be remembered for many years to come,” Kenyatta said.
He also noted that the Kenyan leg of the WRC had confirmed the huge potential held by the country as a global motorsport destination.
“We dreamed and we delivered. We planned and we succeeded. Through all our collective efforts, it is now certain that ‘the greatest show in motorsport in Africa’ will continue to thrill and inspire long into the future,” said the Head of State.