Foreign drivers in the just concluded WRC Safari Rally Kenya 2021 wowed by the country’s beautiful scenery and wildlife have vowed to come back next year for more action.
And the government has announced that a five-year deal to host the global event has been signed and preparation for the next year’s event would begin immediately.
A thrilled and excited driver who came third, Ott Tanak , threatened to stop racing if the WRC Safari Rally is not in the next year’s calendar, revealing how a Zebra jumped over his car.
“If it’s not in the calendar next year, I will stop racing. A zebra jumped over my car during recce and I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Such beauty,” he said.
Sebastien Ogier who won the race said he loved the rally and would definitely be back.
“I had a love-hate relationship with the Safari Rally. I loved it. It hates my guts. Will definitely be back.” said Ogier.
Another driver, Takamoto Katsuta from Japan and who came second, said he fell in love with Kenya and would be coming for holiday with his family soon.
“I am definitely coming for holiday in Kenya with my family. And not driving,” said Katsuta.
Sixth placed Kalle Rovanpera said he was still absorbing the beauty of Safari Rally saying he would still come back.
“Short rally. Long rally. Beautiful rally. I am still absorbing the beauty of the Safari Rally,” said Rovanpera.
Another driver Adrien Fourmaux who came number four said Kenya has good and warm people and that he was tempted to stop the car and take pictures.
“I was tempted to stop my car and take pictures of the beautiful scenes. The colours, the people, such warmth,” Fourmaux said in an interview after the race.
Gus Greensmith said his number five finish felt like a win describing the rally as the toughest ever.
He praised Kenyans saying they seemed to enjoy Safari Rally more than any other WRC rallies, promising to come back and beat the course.
” A number 5 finish in what’s been my toughest rally ever is like a win to me. Hats off to the Kenyans, who seemed to enjoy this more than any other WRC rallies. I must come back and beat the course,” said Greensmith.
When presenting the winners with trophies, President Uhuru said Kenya and FIA had agreed on a five-year deal to host WRC Safari Rally for the next five years. Uhuru said his government would immediately start preparations for the next year’s event.
The news was music to the ears of thousands of rally enthusiasts who jammed Naivasha to enjoy the spectacle.