SAFARI RALLY

Safari Rally lovers warned ahead of showdown in Naivasha

There will be no civilian aircraft permitted in Naivasha airspace during the rally

McRae Kimathi steers his Ford Fiesta ST Rally3 with Kenyan co-driver Mwangi Kioni during the SS18 stage of the 2021 Safari Rally Kenya near Hells Gate at Lake Naivasha, Kenya, on June 27, 2021. (Photo by TONY KARUMBA/AFP via Getty Images)

With just nine days to go to the start of the much anticipated Safari Rally, organisers have warned fans against falling prey to scammers claiming to promote the competition including Chopper rides.

Police Commissioner Julius Kabiru told Nation Newspaper that the Kenyan airspace between Nairobi and Nakuru from Thursday, June 23 to Sunday, June 26 will be blocked. Only these three aircrafts will be allowed in the vicinity;

  • World Rally Championships Promoter filming helicopter
  • Two grounded medevac helicopters to provide medical support

Police Commissioner Kabiru made the revelation same day the route for the rally was confirmed. Clerk of the course Gurvir Bhabra revealed that fans will be introduced to new stages as well improvements have been made on the entrances to ease reduce traffic.

Last year, hundreds of motorists spent many hours in traffic on the Nairobi-Nakuru highway following the closure of sections of the highway to allow the competing safari rally drivers to use the section between Naivasha and Sosyambu.

“One of the new stages will be at Geothermal, and another at Naivasha. There are slight changes to the Kedong stage. We have also created a brand new spectator area down at Soysambu, with a different entrance to get the spectators off one route, thereby easing traffic on Nakuru Road,” Bhabra said.

On Wednesday, June 22, a rally Shakedown will take place at Loldia, a 5.4km distance. Shakedown gives drivers an opportunity to test their machines prior to competition proper while also providing the media opportunity to film the action for the first time.

The official opening ceremony will take place on Thursday, June 23 at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) followed by a 4.84km Super Special Stage at Kasarani before drivers drive off to Kenya Wildlife Training College (KWSTI) in Naivasha for the perc ferme (scrutineering).

"A Scrutineer’s job is to check that competing vehicles comply with the relevant technical regulations, which help to ensure safety and fair play. While experience in engineering or a similar technical field is usually an advantage, it is not essential," read a statement from WRC.

Friday, June 24 will see fans enjoy the main action in three stages: SS2/5 Lodia (19.17kms), SS3/6 Geothermal (11.68kms), SS4/7 Kedong (31.25kms) before cars head back for another scrutineering at KWSTI.

Saturday, June 25 will see drivers take part in some of the longest stages of the competition with four stages lined up: SS8/11 Soysambu (29.32kms), SS9/12 Elementaita (15.08kms), SS10/13 and Sleeping Warrior (31.04kms).

On Sunday, June 16 the drivers will go through the final three stages; SS 14/17 Oserian (17.93kms), SS15/18 Natasha (13.30kms) and SS16/19 Hells Gaye (10.53kms).

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