Kenya rally postponed to 2021 due to virus, says government

NAIROBI: The Kenya Safari The rally will be postponed until 2021 due to the coronavirus, the country's government said on Friday, delaying the event's return to the World Rally Championship after nearly two decades away.

The decision was made after discussions between the government, the WRC promoter and the International Automobile Association (FIA) that had taken place since March.

A new date for the race, which last featured in the WRC in 2002 and was scheduled for mid-July, is yet to be announced.

Postponing the event to 2021 was not a simple decision, however, we are aware of the current global challenges and we assure that the Safari Rally will mark an important part of the history of our country, said the Minister of Sports of Kenya, Amina Mohamed, in a statement. .

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The first three legs of the WRC season took place between January and mid-March with Toyota's French driver Sebastien Ogier leading the competition.

The Mexico rally was interrupted for a day due to the virus, while the Argentine (April 23-26) and Italian (June 4-7) races have yet to be rescheduled after being postponed.

Portugal's stretch of the championship was removed at the end of last month after being postponed once from its original date of May 21-24.

The current season is supposed to resume in Finland in August, but a postponement to September or October is possible with the organizers re-examining the situation in June.

Colin McCrae won the last Safari Rally in 2002 - his final WRC victory - before it was crossed off the world circuit due to concerns over safety, organization and finances.