Kenya sets ambitious Safari Rally viewership target as Namwamba inaugurates management team

Elfyn Evans held on to finish third at the 2023 Safari Rally, Kenya | Photo Credit: Imago Images

MOTORSPORTS Kenya sets ambitious Safari Rally viewership target as Namwamba inaugurates management team

Joel Omotto 05:30 - 12.01.2024

Kenya is aiming at hitting the 100 million mark in Safari Rally viewership as the iconic global event returns to the popular Easter weekend this year.

Preparations for the 2024 World Rally Championship (WRC) Safari Rally Kenya have hit top gear with the inauguration of the Easter event’s senior management team by Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba.

Organisers are targeting to surpass global broadcast viewership numbers, aiming to hit the 100 million mark for the March 28-31 competition that will be the third round of the 2024 World Rally Championship series.

Given it will be run over the Easter holidays, organisers expect the biggest fan turnout since the rally’s return to the global circuit three years ago.

In 2022, the WRC Safari Rally recorded a global viewership of about 80 million with media reports from last year’s competition still awaited.

Namwamba has set the ball rolling by formally unveiling the core team that “will ensure the delivery of a superb and memorable event once again.”

The team is led by legendary Kenyan rally driver Jim Kahumbura who serves as Event Director.

“We have selected a great team that includes experienced and young officials for this important event. The Safari Rally has had an immense impact in the Kenyan heritage and we pride ourselves as a nation with this championship,” said Namwamba.

“I would like the team to harmoniously work together and create an atmosphere for fellow countrymen and women to sample the taste of the rally," added the CS, who also expressed his appreciation of the fast-developing motorsport space in Kenya.

“From karting to buggies, there’s incredible talent in the Kenyan motorsport ecosystem – please deliver an incredible event,” Namwamba urged the management team, also announcing that there will be a revamped social and alternative media delivery to drum up support for the rally.

The CS noted that the “Hustlers’ Bazaar” initiative launched last year will be amplified this year to give a formidable platform to local traders and artists to enjoy the benefits of the WRC Safari Rally stage.

The Sports Ministry will also unveil a solid merchandising and marketing programme to take advantage of the Safari’s iconic status.

A significant shift takes place at the 2024 WRC Safari Rally Kenya with the return to the traditional Easter date, having been staged in June in the last three editions.

The change is anticipated to take the Kenyan round a notch higher in terms of atmosphere due to the Easter Holidays which means more spectators will make it to Naivasha to get the lifetime experience of the iconic Safari.

This year's Safari Rally could also see a change in venue for the ceremonial finish podium, awards ceremony, and post-event press conference from the Service Park at the Wildlife Research and Training Institute (WRTI) to the end of the Power Stage at the Hells Gate National Park.

The Safari is the third round of the 2024 World Rally Championships after this month’s Rally Monte (January 25-28) and Rally Sweden (15-18 February) and will start at the iconic Kenyatta International Convention Centre in Nairobi on March 28.

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