Vroom! President Ruto flags off WRC Safari Rally in bid to break viewer records


Vroom! President Ruto flags off WRC Safari Rally in bid to break viewer records

Festus Chuma 14:11 - 28.03.2024

President William Ruto has flagged off the 71st WRC Safari Rally in Nairobi, aiming for record viewership and celebrating Kenya's motorsport heritage.

President William Ruto Thursday afternoon officially set the 2024 WRC Safari Rally into motion at the KICC, Nairobi.

This year marks the 71st anniversary of the legendary contest, highlighting Kenya's rich heritage in motorsports. 

"I am proud to officiate at the official 71st anniversary edition of the WRC Safari Rally, which is yet another opportunity for our country to host the world's toughest motorsport contest and underscore the depth of our heritage in this sport," President Ruto expressed with palpable enthusiasm.

In 2023, the event captivated an impressive audience of 80 million viewers across 150 countries.

 "Last year, it recorded an encouraging 80 million people in 150 countries watched this rally and this year we want to do better and reach 100 million viewers around the world," President Ruto announced, setting an ambitious goal for this year's broadcast reach.

The rally is more than a sporting event for Kenya; it is a significant economic boon. 

"In addition, the rally was of great benefit to the country, injecting billions of shillings into our economy in keeping with our bottom-up economic agenda," he noted, highlighting the financial impact of hosting such a prestigious event.

"For the people of Kenya, the Safari Rally is a special gift to millions of families and other groups to bond," he added, touching on the cultural significance of the event to the Kenyan people.

All eyes are on Toyota Gazoo Racing as the GR Yaris Rally1 team seeks to continue its dominance, having won every edition since 2021.

 Despite their impressive track record, Toyota is eager for its first win of the season, with stars like Elfyn Evans, Takamoto Katsuta, and reigning world champion Kalle Rovanperä leading the charge.

Hyundai Motorsport, with its formidable lineup including Thierry Neuville, Ott Tänak, and Esapekka Lappi, is poised to challenge Toyota's supremacy on African soil. 

M-Sport Ford is also in high spirits, with Adrien Fourmaux aiming to build on his recent success.

The rally commenced in Nairobi, setting the stage for 19 grueling special stages across the scenic landscapes of Lakes Naivasha and Elmenteita.

The competition promises not only to test the limits of man and machine but also to offer a feast for the eyes with Kenya's breathtaking beauty.

As the event unfolds, spectators are reminded to exercise caution, ensuring their safety while enjoying the thrill of high-speed competition.

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