An agreement has now been reached between the Government of Kenya, the WRC Promoter and the FIA to reschedule the Safari Rally Kenya in 2021, due to the coronavirus pandemic. This has effectively cancelled the planned 2020 rally which was to have taken place 16-19 July.
It has been 18-years since the iconic event was part of the World Rally Championship. At the moment there are nearly 800 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the country with 45 deaths.
“We are grateful to the [Safari Rally] Patron, His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta, for his unwavering support and counsel as we deliberated on the next best steps,” said Amina Mohamed, Kenya’s cabinet secretary for sport, culture and heritage.
“We also owe exceptional gratitude to the President of the FIA, Mr. Jean Todt and the WRC Promoter led by Oliver Ciesla for their unyielding support since we commenced engagements to return the Safari Rally to the WRC circuit.”
The Safari Rally is the fourth WRC round to have been affected by the global pandemic with the postponement of Rally Argentina and Rally Italy. Rally Portugal scheduled for the coming weekend has been cancelled.
The next scheduled WRC encounter is now Rally Finland in August followed by Rally New Zealand in September which also must be under threat with the country’s borders currently closed.
Rally Turkey is scheduled for late September then Rallye Deutschland, Wales Rally GB and finally Rally Japan in late November.
It appears that a further four completed rounds will be required in order to decide the 2020 titles. Before the global ‘lockdown’, Rallies Monte Carlo, Sweden and Mexico were completed with Sebastien Ogier currently leading the drivers’ standings.