A short history of the Safari Rally and photos as M-Sport set up in the Naivasha service park

The Safari Rally was first held in 1953, as the East African Coronation Safari in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika, as a celebration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
In 1960 it was renamed the East African Safari Rally and kept that name until 1974 when it became the Kenya Safari Rally.

Widely regarded as one of the most popular African rallies. It made
its return to the World Rally Championship (WRC) in 2021 after a 19-year hiatus.
The older version of the Safari Rally was notorious for being the most difficult rally in the World championship. Some had said that winning this particular rally was the equivalent of winning three other rallies.
The arduous conditions, such as the constantly changing weather and the very rough roads often made life very difficult for team personnel.

Repairs were constantly having to be made to the cars, which added to the elapsed time of the competitors. Frequently, all this work had to be done in intense heat and humidity. The event adopted the special stage format in 1996.
From that edition until 2002, it featured over 1000 km of timed stages, with stages well over 60 kilometres long, unlike most rallies which had under 500 kilometres of total timed distance.


The event exited from the WRC calendar in 2003. Since 2003 the event has been part of the FIA African Rally Championship, organized by the Kenya Motorsports Federation.
The 2021 rally ran successfully between 23rd and 27th June, earning it’s rightful place back amongst the greatest WRC events in the world. The world was intrigued as to how Safari Rally
could fit into a modern WRC. Central service, modern cars etc.


 

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