The Safari Rally has applied for a waiver from the FIA as it seeks to increase its competitive distance – a move which would make it the World Rally Championship’s longest event since 2018.
Organizers of the Kenyan event – which last week confirmed its deal to remain in the WRC until 2026 – are looking to ramp up mileage from 198 to 226 miles for the June event.
The FIA’s current limit for each WRC round is 350km (217 miles).
Much of the proposed increase for the African event comes on a planned final day that runs to 60 miles, the longest final day in recent memory.
The last significant final-day challenge in terms of distance came on the 2016 Rally Mexico, when a 50-mile Guanajuato test was included.
This year’s Safari looks set to include two new stages – the eight-mile Geothermal stage on Friday and Sunday’s 12-miler in Narasha.
The event will be based out of the same Naivasha service park and runs the same shakedown stage. The hugely popular ceremonial start and Kasarani superspecial in Nairobi remain on Thursday June 23.
Only the Kedong stage remains on day one, with Oserian moved to Sunday and Chui Lodge dropped. Kedong has two changes where the stage is re-routed to avoid rain-damaged roads.
Saturday contains the same roads (like Friday, two loops of three stages), but an extended Soysambu (with a spectator area complete with rocky climbs near the start inserted) is first up out of service with Elmenteita following and Sleeping Warrior to end the loop.
Sunday brings six stages (two loops of three), one more than last season.
Narasha is the new one and starts off the floor of the Great Rift Valley before rising to the Maasai grazing lands of Ol Karia. Oserian starts the day and Hells Gate concludes the loop and the event as the powerstage.
This route was delivered to the teams last week and is expected to be confirmed later in February when Rally Guide 1 is delivered for the June 23-26 event.
Safari Rally proposed itinerary
Wednesday June 22
Shakedown Loldia (3.36 miles) 1301
Thursday June 23
Start Kenyatta International Conference Centre 1246
SS1 Kasarani (3.00 miles) 1408
Friday June 24
SS2 Loldia 1 (11.77 miles) 0800
SS3 Geothermal 1 (7.45 miles) 0918
SS4 Kedong 1 (19.42 miles) 1011
Service Naivasha 1119
SS5 Loldia 2 (11.77 miles) 1314
SS6 Geothermal 2 (7.45 miles) 1432
SS7 Kedong 2 (19.42 miles) 1525
Service Naivasha 1633
Saturday June 25
SS8 Soysambu 1 (18.02 miles) 0811
SS9 Elmenteita 1 (9.32 miles) 0908
SS10 Sleeping Warrior 1 (14.29 miles) 1006
Service Naivasha 1141
SS11 Soysambu 2 (18.02 miles) 1414
SS12 Elmenteita 2 (9.32 miles) 1508
SS13 Sleeping Warrior 2 (14.29 miles) 1606
Service Naivasha 1741
Sunday June 26
SS14 Oserian 1 (10.56 miles) 0726
SS15 Narasha 1 (12.42 miles) 0836
SS16 Hell’s Gate 1 (6.83 miles) 0938
Service Naivasha 1044
SS17 Oserian 2 (10.56 miles) 1131
SS18 Narasha 2 (12.42 miles) 1240
SS19 Hell’s Gate 2 (6.83 miles) 1418