The Safari Rally is a rally race held in East Africa. It was first held from 27 May to 1 June 1953 as the East African Coronation Safari in Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika, as a celebration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. In 1960 it was renamed the East African Safari Rally and kept that name until 1974, when it became the Safari Rally. It was one of the most prestigious and celebrated rallies of its time, as well as one of the toughest.
The Safari Rally was notorious for being by far the most difficult rally in the WRC championship to win- some had said that winning this particular rally was the equivalent of winning 3 other rallies. The arduous conditions such as the constantly changing weather and the very rough roads- often rife with sharp rocks made life very difficult for team personnel- repairs were constantly having to be made to the cars and a lot of time would be often lost- and all this work had to be done in sometimes intense heat and humidity.
The event adopted the special stage format in 1996. From that edition until 2002, it featured over 1000 km of timed stages, with stages well over 60 km long, unlike most rallies which had under 500 km of total timed distance. This meant that the winner's total time was above 12 hours in 1996 and decreased to two seconds shy of 8 hours in 2002.
The event was part of the World Rally Championship calendar for many years until being excluded after 2002 due to the lack of finance and organisation in 2003. The Kenyan government is trying to get the rally's WRC status restored. Since 2003 the event has been part of the African Rally Championship organised by the FIA. It is currently known as the KCB Safari Rally after its sponsor, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB).
Local driver Shekhar Mehta was the most successful in the event with five outright victories (1973, 1979–1982).
Notes: IMC = International Championship for Manufacturers, WRC = World Rally Championship, 2LWC = 2-Litre World Cup, ARC = African Rally Championship, IRC = Intercontinental Rally Challenge, KRC = Kenya National Rally Championship
East African Safari Rally (classic)
The East African Safari Rally is a Classic rally event first held in 2003 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the first running of the event. The event has since been held biennially.
|Year||Dates||Winning Driver / Co-driver||Winning Car|
|2003||Dec 10 – Dec 19|| Rob Collinge
|2005||Dec 1 – Dec 10|| Rob Collinge
|2007||Nov 25 – Dec 3|| Björn Waldegård
|Ford Escort Mk1|
|2009||Nov 22 – Dec 1|| Ian Duncan
|2011||Nov 20 - Nov 28|| Björn Waldegård
|2013||Nov 21 – Nov 29|| Ian Duncan
|2015||Nov 19 – Nov 27|| Stig Blomqvist
|2017||Nov 23 – Dec 1|
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