WRC - Africa awaits as the competition goes on Safari in Kenya

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2024 FIA World Rally Championship - Safari Rally Kenya (round 3/13)

The diverse and spectacular nature of the FIA World Rally Championship will be highlighted to the full in Africa next week (March 27-31) with the 72nd Safari Rally Kenya marking the third event of an increasingly exciting WRC season.

Just three points separate the top two drivers, Thierry Neuville and Elfyn Evans, in the provisional standings, while the lead of the FIA World Rally Championship for Manufacturers is shared by Hyundai and Toyota. M-Sport Ford has taken a podium finish in 2024 to underline the strong competition among the Rally1 contenders in the FIA WRC.

Since its eagerly anticipated return to the FIA WRC calendar in 2021, Safari Rally Kenya has run in June. However, it’s back in its traditional Easter weekend slot for 2024 and is therefore the first gravel-based round of the year. 

It also coincides with Kenya’s rainy season, which means the threat of downpours is ever present. For an event ranked as one of the most challenging on the calendar, that prospect only adds to the task in store for the FIA WRC drivers and their teams as they negotiate the stunning East African terrain.

2023 WRC - Safari Rally Kenya - T. Neuville / M. Wydaeghe, Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT (Photo Jaanus Ree

The predominantly clay-based roads become extremely slippery in the wet but the searing ambient and ground temperatures mean it’s not long before they dry. So, while road clearing is less of a factor on Safari Rally Kenya as it is on other loose-surface rounds of the FIA WRC season, the high chance of rain puts a firm focus on the start order for each leg. 

FIA Vice-President for Sport Africa and FIA World Motor Sport Council member Rodrigo Rocha will be attendance during Safari Rally Kenya. 

Meanwhile, Pirelli, the FIA WRC’s official tyre suppler, is providing its Scorpion KX tyre in soft and hard compounds to all Rally1 cars. The soft compound is the first choice for damp conditions with the hard option available for dry-weather running.



The FIA World Rally Championship stars and their cars will be challenged on 19 stages over a timed distance of 367.76 kilometres, a route that’s largely unchanged from 2023. 

Following the event-opening Super Special Kasarani in out-of-town Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, on Thursday March 28, the rally relocates to Lake Naivasha, its hub for the remaining three days of competition. 

Friday’s first full leg consists of three stages run either side of the Naivasha service halt. Kedong, SS4/SS7, features a new section in the Miti Mbili area and is run in a reverse direction compared to 2023. 

Saturday’s action is based around Lake Elmenteita north of Naivasha. The three repeated stages include Sleeping Warrior, now up to 36.08 kilometres from 31.04 and the longest of the rally after a new closing section of some seven kilometres was added. 

Sunday’s deciding leg begins with Malewa, which has been reduced from 9.00 kilometres in length to 8.33. The Oserengoni stage, titled Oserian last season, gets its name from the wildlife conservancy estate where it’s located. The 10.53-kilometre Hell’s Gate tests hosts the Wolf Power Stage from 14:15.

2023 WRC - Safari Rally Kenya - M-Sport Ford WRT




Stage distance:367.76 km
Total distance: 1267.57 km
Number of stages: 19



Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team: Provisional championship leader Thierry Neuville heads Hyundai’s bid for a first Safari Rally Kenya victory. He’s joined by Ott Tänak, the 2019 world champion, and Esapekka Lappi, the winner of Rally Sweden last month.

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team: Having scored his maiden WRC podium in Sweden, Adrien Fourmaux returns to the scene of his first FIA WRC stage win, a feat he achieved in 2021. Grégoire Munster and Jourdan Serderidis complete the line-up, which expands to three cars.

Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT: Elfyn Evans leads Toyota’s Safari challenge with the Japanese manufacturer unbeaten on the event since it returned the FIA WRC schedule in 2021. Takamoto Katsuta, who claimed his first FIA WRC podium in Kenya in 2021, and 2022 Safari winner, the double world champion Kalle Rovanperä, join Evans at Toyota.


The FIA WRC2 Championship provides an opportunity for FIA African Rally Championship competitors to build their experience and showcase their skills on a global stage – while shining a spotlight on the FIA ARC. Two notable drivers flying the FIA ARC flag are Karan Patel (Škoda Fabia), the 2023 FIA ARC champion, and multiple Kenyan title winner and 2021 FIA ARC champion Carl Tundo  (Ford Fiesta).

Toksport WRT’s Oliver Solberg, at the wheel of a Škoda Faba RS, is joint first in the provisional FIA WRC2 standings after his Rally Sweden victory and is the top category seed ahead of Nicolas Ciamin, who makes his Safari Rally Kenya debut in a Hyundai i20 N.

Three-time FIA European Rally Championship winner Kajetan Kajetanowicz begins the defence of his FIA WRC2 Challenger crown on Safari Rally Kenya in a Škoda Fabia RS. 

Gus Greensmith, the 2023 FIA WRC runner-up, makes his first world championship appearance of the season in Kenya in a Toksport WRT-entered Škoda Fabia RS, as does Daniel Chwist (Škoda Fabia RS), whose grandfather, Sobiesław Zasada, won the FIA ERC title three times and made his last Safari Rally Kenya appearance in 2021 aged 91.

Diego Domínguez, second in the 2023 FIA Junior Championship, steps up to FIA WRC2 level for the first time in a Citroën C3, while Charles Munster (Hyundai i20 N) is Rally1 driver Grégoire Munster’s younger brother.


Media accreditation

Media accreditation must be collected in person by accredited pass holders from the Accreditation Desk, located at the WRC Safari Rally Kenya Service Park, Wildlife Research and Training Institute (WRTI), 7F52+47R, Biashara Nakuru Town East, Karagita, Naivasha.

Google Link: https://goo.gl/maps/9oytvE2cnc3qu7U87

Media Accreditation – Opening hours:

Sunday 24 March: 12:00 - 18:00 (for recce only)
Monday 25 March: 14:00 – 19:00
Tuesday 26 March: 14:00 – 19:00
Wednesday 27 March: 08:00 – 20:00
Thursday 28 March:  08:00 – 20:00
Friday 29 March: upon request only (accreditation@wrc.com

Media Centre

The Media Centre is located at: WRC Safari Rally Kenya Service Park, Wildlife Research and Training Institute (WRTI), Naivasha, Kenya. 

Media Accreditation – Opening hours:
Tuesday March 26: 14:00 – 19:00 hrs
Wednesday March 27: 08:00 – 20:00 hrs
Thursday March 28: 08:00 – 20:00 hrs
Friday March 29: 07:45 – 20:00 hrs
Saturday March 30: 07:45 – 20:00 hrs
Sunday March 31: 06:45 – 20:00 hrs


Safari Rally Kenya - Media Activities and Opportunities 

Tuesday March 26 
17:00 hrsMandatory Tabard Media Safety Briefing (Media Center, Naivasha Service Park)
Wednesday March 27 
10:01 – 12:00Shakedown for P1 and other invited crews (Loldia, 5.40 km)
12:01 – 13:00 Shakedown for all priority crews (Loldia, 5.40 km)
13:01 – 14:00Shakedown for P2, P3 and non-priority crews (Loldia, 5.40 km)
13:30 – 15:00FIA WRC Media Pen with P1 and P2 drivers (Media Zone, Naivasha SP)
17:15 – 18:15Launch of Rally School Kenya of his Excellency President W. Ruto
 In attendance of O. Tänak, O. and P. Solberg (SSS1 Kasarani, Nairobi)
Thursday March 28 
10:45 – 11:15National media interview opp. with P1 and P2 drivers (KICC, Nairobi)
11:15 – 11:35Autograph session with P1 & selected P2 drivers 20-24, 28 & 34 (KICC, Nairobi)
11:35WRC Family Photo (KICC, Nairobi)
 Photo 1 feat. all P1 crews
 Photo 2 feat. all other crews
12:26Start of Section 1 (KICC, Nairobi)
13:25FIA WRC Meet the Crews (SSS1 Kasarani)
After SSS1Autograph session for all crews (Art Caffe, Safari Centre, Naivasha)
Approx. 16:30Media Zone TC1A (Service Park, Naivasha)
Friday March 29 
07:15 hrsStart of Section 2 (Service Park, Naivasha)
Approx. 11:30Media Zone TC4A (Service Park, Naivasha)
Approx. 17:00Media Zone TC7A (Service Park, Naivasha)
Saturday March 30 
06:35Start of Section 4 (Service Park, Naivasha)
Approx. 11:50Media Zone TC10A (Service Park, Naivasha)
Approx. 18:15Media Zone TC13A (Service Park, Naivasha)
Sunday March 31 
06:15Start of Section 6 (Service Park, Naivasha)
Approx. 10:00Media Zone TC16A (Service Park, Naivasha)
Approx. 14:30Media Zone TC19A (Hell’s Gate, behind Podium)
15:15Podium (Hell’s Gate)
Approx. 16:30Media Zone TC19C (Media Zone area, Naivasha SP)
17:00FIA Post-event Press Conference (Media Centre)

(All times local and approximate)

Media zones

Media Zones attended by all drivers and selected team representatives will operate as follows: TC1A, TC4A, TC7A, TC10A, TC13A, TC16A, TC19A and TC19C.

FIA WRC Meet the Crews live interviews - SSS1 Kasarani, Thursday March 28

13:25 - FIA WRC Support Championships
Toksport WRT – Gus Greensmith (GBR), Škoda Fabia RS Rally2
Nicolas Ciamin (FRA), Hyundai i20 N Rally2
Karan Patel (KEN), Škoda Fabia Rally2
Carl Tundo (KEN), Ford Fiesta Rally2

13:35 - FIA WRC Championship
Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT – Esapekka Lappi (FIN), Hyundai i20 N Rally1 Hybrid
M-Sport Ford WRT– Adrien Fourmaux (FRA), Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid
Toyota GAZOO Racing WRT – Takamoto Katsuta (JPN), Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 Hybrid

Post-event FIA Press Conference - Media Centre, Sunday March 31, 17:00 

Top 3 drivers in overall classification and winning co-driver
Representative of winning manufacturer
Winning FIA WRC2, WRC2 Challenger, WRC3 and Masters Cup drivers

The FIA WRC Meet the Crews live interviews and FIA Post-event Press Conference are broadcast live on the official WRC Youtube and social media channels.


Toyota Gazoo Racing WRTElfyn Evans (GBR)/Scott Martin (GBR) - #33
 Takamoto Katsuta (JPN)/Aaron Johnston (IRL) - #18
 Kalle Rovanperä (FIN)/Jonne Halttunen (FIN) - #69
Hyundai Shell Mobis WRTThierry Neuville (BEL)/Martijn Wydaeghe (BEL) - #11
 Ott Tänak (EST)/Martin Järveoja (EST) - #8
 Esapekka Lappi (FIN)/Janne Ferm (FIN) - #4
M-Sport Ford WRTAdrien Fourmaux (FRA)/Alexandre Coria (FRA) - #16
 Grégoire Munster (LUX)/Louis Louka (BEL) - #13



The provisional classifications following round two of the 2024 FIA World Rally Championship are available here.



1. S. Ogier (FRA)/V. Landais (FRA)    Toyota GR Yaris Rally13h30m42.5s
2. K. Rovanperä (FIN)/J. Halttunen (FRA)Toyota GR Yaris Rally1+6.7s
3. E. Evans (GBR)/S. Martin (GBR)Toyota GR Yaris Rally1+2m58.5s



2023Sébastien Ogier/Vincent LandaisToyota GR Yaris Rally1 
2022Kalle Rovanperä /Jonne Halttunen Toyota GR Yaris Rally1
2021Sébastien Ogier/Julien IngrassiaToyota Yaris WRC
2019*Baldev Chager/Ravi SoniMitsubishi Lancer Evo X R4
2018*Carl Tundo/Tim JessopMitsubishi Lancer Evo X R4

*non-WRC event