The route for the Safari Rally which will be held from March 15-17 has been released.
Kenya Motor Sports Federation chairman Phineas Kimathi has said the route has been tailored to suit World Rally Championships (WRC) specifications as the event seeks to return to the WRC Series by 2020.
This year’s Safari Rally will also double up as the second round of Africa Rally Championship, and will mainly be centred in Naivasha over 581 kilometres, who 221km of which will be competitive.
“The topography on the floor of the Rift Valley in Naivasha is a perfect ingredient for a smooth but demanding gravel roads,” said Kimathi, who is also chairman of the organising committee.
The rally will start outside Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi at 11 am on March 15, and drivers will head to Sopa Lodge in Naivasha situated 94km from Nairobi for service. Sopa Lodge will also serve as the rally headquarters.
The drivers will then battle it out in 12km-long first competitive stage in Aberdare 1 but the total distance covered in day one will be 156km, including liaison sections.
Day two on March 16 will start at 7am, and cars will head to Soysambu Ranch for the first stage of the day, followed by other stages at Sleeping Warrior and Aberdare II.
These stages will be repeated twice for a total competitive distance of 143km, plus another 162km road sections, according to Kimathi who is also the CEO of the government-funded WRC Safari Project established to oversee the return of the Safari Rally to the FIA WRC by 2020.
The final day of the rally on March 17 will cover 31km long Kedong section followed by Aberdare II before ending at Sopa Lodge by mid-day.