The World Rally Championships Safari Rally was the most watched race in 2021. WRC revealed this on Sunday as Kenya signed a deal for Safari Rally to remain on WRC calendar till 2026.
WRC Safari Rally ranked most watched race in 2021
Safari Rally retained on WRC calendar till 2026
The deal was signed at the Automobile Club of Monaco between Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed and WRC Promoter GmbH Managing Director Jona Siebel.
The enthusiasm of regional spectators in welcoming back the WRC Safari Rally after a 19-year hiatus amazed the rally-sport world for various reasons.
The Kenyan leg of the series held in Naivasha last year was the most-watched, with a record 850million viewers.
The Safari outscored all the events in 2021 with the Shakedown in particular at Loldia ranking the most-watched in WRC history thanks to traffic from Kenya occasioned by a relentless pre-event public blitz.
The CS also signed several partnerships with the WRC revolving around talent development and environmental conservation.
2022 will feature hybrid cars
New hybrid cars will be incorporated in rallying’s top-class regulations for the first time ever in 2022, as part of the FIA’s environmental strategy.
The 2022 Rally1 cars were launched in Salzburg on Saturday, January 15 and will feature a 100kW electric motor, coupled with a 3.9kWh battery and a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine, raising peak performance levels to more than 500bhp while also reducing harmful emissions.
Drivers will benefit from the power but are mandated to travel on specific stage sections using electric-only mode.
Consideration of local conditions will be taken into account when allocating the Hybrid Electric Vehicle Zones (HEV) at each rally. Each HEV will be ratified by the FIA following agreement from the organiser and promoter.
Ahead of the new season, Kenya has already set up an office in Europe, in Lahti Finland to capitalise on the great history and rich heritage of the Safari Rally.