Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta has welcomed the return of the prestigious World Rally Championship (WRC) after 18 years.
In a statement issued on Friday, Kenyatta narrated his country’s rally credentials, saying Kenya’s first rally was held in 1953 ‘to commemorate the coronation of Her Royal Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’
‘‘The Rally developed to become the toughest Rally in the world and was regarded as a true test of man and machine,’‘ Kenyatta said.
The International Automobile Federation (FIA) admitted it to the World Rally Championship (WRC) in 1973, where it stayed for 29 years, before being relegated to the African Rally Championship (ARC) in 2002.
It will now make its comeback for the WRC on 19 July 2020, becoming one of its 14 events. Kenya is the only African country on the calendar.
‘‘I am glad to see the results of our expansion strategy, with emblematic events such as Kenya and Japan coming back to the WRC calendar next year, alongside New Zealand replacing Australia, while long-standing, iconic European events provide a great balance and preserve the DNA of the sport,’’ FIA’s Yves Matton said.
‘‘It is, therefore, my pleasure to lead all the people of Kenya in welcoming the 2020 International Automobile Federation World Rally Championship Kenya Safari Rally back to our Land and Nation,’‘ Kenyatta said.