The Kenya National Rally Championship (KNRC) has received Ksh 50 million from Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) for this year’s Safari Rally competition.
The cheque was handed over by the KCB communication and marketing manager Angela Mwirigi to Kenya Motor Sport and Federation (KMSF) Chairman Phineas Kimathi. KCB has for the last 17 years been sponsoring the event.
“Partnership is very critical because it is what prepares Kenyan drivers to be strong. The Ksh 50 million is in addition to an earlier Ksh 25 million we had already put in KNCR and motor cross sponsorships,” Mwirigi clarified.
Mwirigi further explained that KCB has more interest in sports ranging from golf, football and rugby and that the bank spends at least Ksh 230 million annually to support the sporting sector.
“We are envisaging to re-igniting the motorsport spirit in Kenya as we gear up to partnership with the Ministry of Sports,” she explained.
Kimathi reiterated that this year’s organizing committee is committed to making the sport safer for the participants and the spectators.
Spectator stands have been built in different parts namely from Kasarani to Soysambu and Kendong ranch in Naivasha.
Kimathi further explained that 4.8 kilometer Kasarani Spectator ground has been completely fenced to ensure spectators’ protection.
“The overall goal is to enable us go back to WRC competitions, which are the vertex of motor rally in the world, and remain there,” Kimathi explained.
The organizing committee of the motor-sport event has invited spectators and safari rally enthusiasts to come out in large numbers to cheer this year’s showdown assuring them of high safety measures that have been put in place.
He added that technology has made it easier for the spectators who could not directly be in the grounds because they could watch the event live from social media platforms.
Safari Rally, which will double up as the fourth round of African Rally Championship, will be flagged off this Friday outside the presidential pavilion at the Kasarani Sports Centre.
The flag off will set the crew for a grueling 796.86 kilometers that would see the drivers cruise around Nairobi, Kiambu, and Nakuru counties. It will end on Sunday at the Kendong Ranch where the winners will be awarded.
This year’s competition has attracted 51 drivers including participants from Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Belgium, Zambia and Italy with most of the competitors coming from Uganda.
The competition will also witness a rivalry of international car manufactures
Toyota, Hyundai and FORD who will come to showcase their brands.