Security for both participants and drivers will be prioritised and given special attention at the upcoming World Rally Championship (WRC) Safari Rally which is scheduled for June 22-25 in Naivasha.
According to the event organisers, security is a main concern for all in rallying as it affects both drivers and viewers who face some risk of accidents as cars involved travel at at high speeds.
Renowned navigator Abdul Sidi has indicated that overtaking or overlapping of any other competing car during a Safety Car intervention is forbidden and overtaking of a Safety Car is forbidden unless the particular competitor is signalled to overtake the Safety Car by the observer in the Safety Car.
“The driver and co-driver wear normal safety equipment (helmets and racing suits).The zero car is usually driven at almost race pace.Zero car shouldn’t be confused with the organization car or the FIA inspection car which also passes through the special stage before the rally cars but are driven much slower” wrote Abdul Sidi who has navigated some of Kenya’s legendary drivers including Patrick Njiru, and has navigated in 18 Safari Rallies, finishing 15 of them.
It was a nostalgic moment for many Kenyans, especially those old enough to have watched the WRC Safari Rally when it was last in Kenya in 2002 before readmission to the FIA world calendar in 2020
It took a lot of effort for the Safari Rally to be admitted back to the WRC circuit, and the antics by some fans will not be tolerated as this can lead to make the world body FIA reconsider that decision.
Some of the reasons given when the Safari Rally was struck off the WRC circuit, was that there was no safety for fans and drivers.
Safari Rally will set up large screens in all spectator areas for continuous engagement in the four-day event.
Television screens will be erected in selected locations for spectators to follow the actions that will be beamed live by host broadcaster KBC Channel 1.
The ICT man said the fibre optic server’s location at the expansive Flamingo flower farm is at an ideal location.
“It is 12km from the Service Park and linked with a similar line along Nairobi/Naivasha highway.The speed of 3 terabytes per seconds is enough for television live broadcast and thousands of hand held gadgets which will be used by the spectators” said WRC Safari Rally ICT Solutions Coordinator Linus Kimathi
Rally lovers continue gearing up for the biggest motoring event on the African continent with officials and volunteers at the WRC Safari putting in final touches to deliver a world-class successful event.
“This year will be historic as we will be having a special edition that will twin ours and the Acropolis rally of Greece to celebrate our heritages together. For us we want to launch our sports safari agenda of tourism and marketing Brand Kenya, riding on our sporting activities,” said Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba.
At the end of every year, the FIA and the WRC governing body evaluates the existing rules, safety measures, and other aspects of the championship to make any necessary revisions or improvements.
A total of 34 drivers including three factory teams from M-Sport Ford, Toyota Gazoo Racing and Hyundai have confirmed participating in the 70th edition of the event.