Safari Rally return postponed until 2021

Safari Rally has become the second World Rally Championship event to be cancelled outright in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Safari Rally return postponed until 2021

Kenya’s fabled Safari Rally was due to return to the WRC calendar for the first time since 2002, with the East African event scheduled as the eighth round on July 16-19 on the original WRC schedule.

However, in a statement released by the organiser on Friday, it was announced that the rally has now been deferred until 2021, with the exact date to be announced later.

The decision was jointly reached by the Government of Kenya, the FIM and WRC Promoter citing the effects of COVID-19 on “global economies, cross-border travel and mass social engagements". 

The Kenya event is the third event to be called off this year after Rally Portugal, which was originally postponed before being cancelled altogether, and Rally Chile, which was struck off the calendar back in November due to social unrest in the country.

“We will continue to prepare for the event as groundworks are already in top gear and look forward to welcoming the rally professionals, team and enthusiasts to Kenya when the event is reconvened next year,” CS Amina Mohamed, the Cabinet Secretary for Sports, Heritage and Culture in Kenya.

“Postponing the event to 2021 was not a simple decision to make however we are cognisant of the present global challenges and assure that the Safari Rally will mark a significant part of our country’s history as was intended for the next three years.”

"The organising teams continue to work hard to make sure that we deliver a world-class event,” added Koe Okudo, the Principal Secretary in-charge of sports. 

“We are at an advanced stage to complete the Service Park located in Nakuru County and are in line with the set completion timelines."

The WRC was able to complete three rounds before the pandemic, although March’s Rally Mexico was shortened by a day to allow teams to return safely to Europe.

The season is now scheduled to resume in Finland on August 6-9, although the event could be postponed until September or October subject to an evaluation in June.

A similar feasibility study on Rally New Zealand will take place later this month, with travel restrictions the biggest hurdle in getting the event off ground.

shares
comments
How a reluctant hero became France's first WRC champion

Previous article

How a reluctant hero became France's first WRC champion

Next article

New Zealand, Japan WRC rounds face cancellation

New Zealand, Japan WRC rounds face cancellation
Load comments
How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2 Prime

How Hyundai's broken record gave Toyota a special Sardinia 1-2

For the second WRC gravel rally in a row, a promising Friday for Hyundai turned into desolation as Toyota gratefully picked up the pieces. This time it was championship leader Sebastien Ogier who took full advantage after Ott Tanak and Dani Sordo retired to score a memorable victory, having swept the road on the first two days

WRC
Jun 7, 2021
Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel Prime

Why there's no easy fix for Hyundai's operational Achilles Heel

Hyundai Motorsport boss Andrea Adamo was vocal in his criticism of his team's tyre choices on Rally Croatia and declared that he "had better move my ass and solve it". Doing so will be vital to getting Hyundai's 2021 WRC title hopes back on track, but finding the root of the problem won't be the work of a moment

WRC
Apr 28, 2021
How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia Prime

How Ogier survived road crash drama to triumph in Croatia

Sebastien Ogier was already in an incredibly tight fight at Rally Croatia before a surprise collision with public road traffic at the start of the final day. But the defending champion held his nerve to take a narrow victory and create further World Rally Championship history

WRC
Apr 26, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Prime

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Prime

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate…

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Prime

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Prime

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener.

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Prime

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021