Africa Defense Forum
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Rally Cars Hit Streets of Nairobi

BBC NEWS AT BBC.CO.UK/NEWS

In Kenya, the road linking the capital, Nairobi, and the town of Naivasha had some rather different-looking cars on it jostling with the matatus, buses and lorries.

The rally cars were in the country in June 2021 as the World Rally Championship (WRC) returned for the first time in 19 years. The world-renowned Safari Rally was a regular part of the WRC calendar between 1973 and 2002 and was considered the championship’s toughest race.

Financial issues caused the event to be removed from the calendar in 2003. COVID-19 delayed its planned comeback in 2020, but Africa’s only WRC event returned in 2021.

Thousands of spectators turned out to see the cars as they traveled from Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi to the first competitive part of the race at the city’s Kasarani stadium complex. 

In addition to the foreign entrants, there were a number from Kenya and some from neighboring Uganda. This was the 68th time the rally, which also has been held in Uganda and Tanzania, has taken place. Kenya will host the WRC Safari Rally every year until 2026.

French driver Sebastien Ogier in his Toyota Yaris scooped the first position in the rally, and Kenya’s Onkar Rai won in the WRC Category 3.

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