After missing out in the 2008 IRC calendar ( thanks to our early year domestic issues), the Safari Rally gets the chance to return to the WRC circuit by being included in next year's Intercontinental Rally Challenge calendar. This is a 2nd tier rallying circuit which includes rallies which are being gauged and assessed before they can be included in the WRC which has become strict in terms of inclusion, due to safety, logistical, geograpical and related reasons.
A good turn it maybe. Thanks in part too to one Surinder Thathi who sometime this season raised controversy during the Formula 1 round in Great Britain by penalising McLaren's Lewis Hamilton. The former rally driver now FIA official may have put a good word or two for the rally to be taken as such. FIA already has the Rally as an African Rally Championship event.
With more sponsors on board such as has been the case with KCB, we hope to expedite the process back into the WRC fold. I still think it's one of the toughest races for man and machine and the East African expedition is to die for.
Due to security threats ( rumours even link the Al-Qaeda to this)this year, the famous Paris-Dakar Rally will be relocating to South America for the Buenos Aires-Lisbon-Buenos Aires challenge next year from January 3rd-13th 2009. The flavour is surely not African anymore but we hope the experience will be worthwhile.
Check this for more information.
Is it an African thing that we are losing the lucrative world of rallying to other continents ?