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Save the date! WRC Safari Rally 2022 schedule confirmed

Subaru boys, the dates have been set. From June 23 to 26, where will you be?

NAIVASHA, KENYA - JUNE 23: Gus Greensmith of Great Britain and Chris Patterson of Ireland compete with their M-Sport FORD WRT Ford Fiesta WRC during the Shakedown of the FIA World Rally Championship Kenya on June 23, 2021 in Naivasha, Kenya. (Photo by Massimo Bettiol/Getty Images)

The full World Rally Championships (WRC) calendar for 2022 has been confirmed. Kenya will host the competition from June 23-26 after successfully staging this year’s Safari Rally event in Naivasha.

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Next year brings some of the biggest and most far-reaching changes in the sport’s history as the WRC enters a more sustainable age.

Exciting top-tier hybrid Rally1 cars will blend 100kW electric motors and the existing combustion engine, while a hydrocarbon-based fossil-free fuel will be 100 percent sustainable.

The calendar was approved at the FIA’s World Motor Sport Council in Paris and WRC Promoter managing director Jona Siebel said the mix of classic fixtures and newer events would provide a mouth-watering schedule in a landmark season.

“Next year will be a momentous and thrilling one for the FIA World Rally Championship as we welcome the new hybrid era Rally1 cars, part of a portfolio of regulations to drive the series towards a greener and more sustainable future,” he added.

“Next year also marks the WRC’s 50th season and we have a calendar to match. We’re delighted to welcome back New Zealand, a rally which first appeared in 1977.

Its gravel roads are a drivers’ delight and although our plans to return in 2020 were unfortunately derailed by Covid-19, it’s fantastic we can now push through with those.

“The pandemic sadly brought the globe to its knees but as the world recovers so, too, does the WRC.

We previously outlined our strategy for an equal spread of rallies between Europe and long-haul destinations and the 2022 calendar is a significant step towards that goal.”

The season kicks-off with January’s fiendishly difficult Rallye Monte-Carlo in the French Alps, which is based solely in Monaco for the first time since 2006.

It is followed by the spectacular snow and ice of Rally Sweden, the series’ only pure winter fixture, which also has a new home as it relocates north to the east coast city of Umeå. Croatia is the opening pure asphalt encounter and will again be based in Zagreb in late April.

The gravel fixtures begin in Portugal in late-May, the first of a string of gruelling hot weather dirt road rounds. It is followed in June by Italy and Kenya.

Blisteringly fast roads in Estonia, which marks the midpoint of the championship, and Finland precede round nine in mid-August at a venue to be confirmed.

Greece, another championship stalwart, returns in September after its successful WRC comeback last month, before the final gravel encounter in New Zealand.

The closing two rounds take place on asphalt. Spain’s late October fixture leads into the finale in Japan, mainstream Asia’s first appearance in the WRC since it last visited the country in 2010.

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