Finally, waiting is over and we're now raring to go!
Karibu Kenya! After years of waiting, Kenya’s dream of cruising back into the World Rally Championship calendar is almost turning into a reality, with this weekend’s Equator Rally a fitting preamble.
An important round of the African Rally Championship, the Equator Rally gives a glimpse of what to expect when the top guns come firing from June 24 to 27 to celebrate the iconic Safari’s return to its rightful place, on the global scheme of things.
The coronavirus has posed a bigger challenge than the tortuous Rift Valley terrain that the drivers will tackle this weekend, but the legendary Kenyan organisers have been equal to the task, pulling out all stops to ensure we celebrate the most ideal of WRC curtain raisers over the next few days.
And the Kenyan Government, through the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Heritage, has been extremely supportive to the cause.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, as Patron of the WRC Safari Rally, along with Sports Cabinet Secretary, Amina Mohamed, a member of the FIA World Motor Sport Council, have provided undivided support and leadership to rallying, with the host Nakuru County Government - under Governor Lee Kinyanjui - gleefully waiting to welcome guests to the Rift Valley in traditionally warm fashion.
Very few organisations globally have been able to administer Covid-19 vaccines to their organising committees, staff, support personnel and competitors.
Well, Kenya has done it, thanks to quick action by the national government that has so far made available about 4,500 vaccines for the country’s sportspeople (including rallying teams) besides also ensuring that this weekend’s WRC Equator Rally runs in a healthy, bio-secure bubble that will give confidence to the teams working around the competition.
This weekend’s scenic, breath-taking route is picture-perfect, with the drivers tackling stages in Elmentaita, Soysambu and Sleeping Warrior on Day One, before visiting Malewa, Loldia and Kedong on Day Two.
The indefatigable Kenya Motor Sports Federation President Phineas Kimathi, who is also the WRC Safari Rally’s CEO, must be pinching himself just to be sure this is no longer a dream… And indeed it isn’t. Kenya is back in business.
So, sit back, relax and enjoy the ride! For the visitors: While at it, spare some time to enjoy a game drive after the rally.
You’d be damned if you don’t!