Nakuru Rally will be the first event of the 2018 Kenya National rally Championship (KNRC), according to the calendar released yesterday.
Kenya Motor Sports Federation general manager, Mwaura Njuguna, said the event slated to run on February 17-18 will be organised by Rift Valley Motor Sports Club, preceding the ARC Safari Rally which is scheduled for March 17-18.
Mwaura said Safari will serve as the second round of both the KNRC and the FIA African Rally Championship (ARC). “Safari is now a national matter after being gazetted. As part of the wider aspect to try and win back the lost world status of the now continental event, the government has offered the Safari Rally team a fully-fledged secretariat at Safaricom, Kasarani Stadium, where operations of the event will be run over the next three calendar events,” said Mwaura. Safari was relegated from world to continental status in 2002.
The prestigious Rallye Bandama of Ivory Coast will kick off the 2018 ARC series on February 24-25. Madagascar will for the second year running sit out of the ARC calendar which will feature seven events, culminating with the September 22-23 Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally. Manvir Baryan of Kenya is the current holder of the African Rally Championship title after winning four out seven events in Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda.
Meanwhile, a new Classic Rally series has been introduced in 2018 to feature three club events. Previously, the Classic Rally Series ran as the Classic Cup within the main KNRC but effective year 2018, Classic Rally drivers will begin to feature in a separate series.
The opening round of the Classic series will be run on the weekend of March 30 to April 2, organized by RVMSC. East African Safari Rally Limited, organisers of the Safari Classic Rally will organise the last two rounds on August 18-19 and December 8-9.
The new series, approved by the Motor Sports Council of KMSF, is anticipated to keep classic drivers busy and will definitely unlock old rivalries among classic drivers, according to Mwaura.
The last round of the belated 2017 KNRC (the KMSC Rally) will determine the KNRC champion on January 13-14. Motorsports Awards Gala night will be held on Saturday, January 20 in Nairobi. The National Rally Raid Championship has four events as usual, starting with February 24-25 in Nanyuki and ending with the Vintage Club round on October 20-21. Sikh Union Nairobi will organise the first event of the National Autocross series on January 20-21.