Nairobi News


Vroooom! Ruto flags off Safari Rally

The much-anticipated moment has finally arrived as the engines roar to life, marking the official start of the WRC Safari Rally 2024.

President William Ruto officially flagged off this year’s edition at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) as the global event returns to the Easter period timelines.

Speaking before flagging off the racing cars on Thursday, Ruto said the prestigious motor racing event comes as a “truly special Easter holiday gift to millions of families to bond over a thrilling spectacle. You really can’t find a rally as tough, compelling, beautiful and rewarding as the one in Kenya,” said Ruto.

He further assured that Kenya has made world-class preparations to provide top-notch racing grounds and fun activities during the shakedown starting today, March 28 to Sunday, March 31.

Sports CS Ababu Namwamba called on Kenyans to turn out in large numbers for the rally, saying, “We encourage fans to come out and support their favorite drivers. Your enthusiasm and energy play a crucial role in making this event a success, and we look forward to seeing you all along the rally route.”

WRC Safari Rally CEO Charles Gacheru said, “We are thrilled to witness the start of the Safari Rally 2024. Months of meticulous planning and preparation have culminated in this moment, and we are excited to showcase the beauty and excitement of rallying to the world. We are hopeful of a wonderful weekend.”

The Safari Rally, a cornerstone of the FIA World Rally Championship calendar, promises a weekend of exhilarating action and fierce competition against the backdrop of Kenya’s stunning landscapes.

As the cars rev off from KICC, they head towards the first competitive action at the Kasarani Super Special Stage. This stage is sure to set the tone for the rest of the rally, with drivers pushing their limits to secure an early advantage.
But the excitement doesn’t end there. Over the next few days, spectators can look forward to witnessing top drivers and teams battle it out across various stages, including the challenging Soysambu, Elmenteita, Sleeping Warrior, Malewa, and Hell’s Gate routes. Each stage presents its own unique set of obstacles, testing the skill and endurance of both drivers and machines.

With the Safari Rally officially underway, the stage is set for a weekend of thrilling action courtesy of top rally local and international drivers. Among them stands the formidable five-time Safari Rally champion, Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo, whose mastery of the course has become the stuff of motorsport legend.

Joining Tundo are the ARC African Continent race champions Karani Patel, Hamza Anwar, Aakif Virani, and Sommah Vohra, each ready to showcase their prowess against their foreign counterparts in a special showdown in the Kasarani area before embarking on the main event in Naivasha, Nakuru county.

Tomorrow’s action will see drivers navigating the challenging terrains of Loldia, Geothermal, and Kedong for two rounds of thrilling racing action.

Saturday promises even more excitement as racing fans are treated to heart-stopping action in the Soysambu area, followed by thrilling runs through Elementaita and Sleeping Warrior, each stage tackled twice to test the drivers’ skill and endurance.

Sunday’s showdown promises to be the ultimate test of grit as drivers take on a grueling 36-kilometer terrain stretching from Malewa to Oserengoni before culminating in a triumphant finish at Hell’s Gate, with two laps to crown the victor.

As one of the toughest events in the World Rally Championship’s history, the Safari Rally Kenya is renowned for its challenging terrain and demanding conditions.

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