WRC Safari Rally Kenya 2021: Quick preview

Safari Rally Kenya 2021: Quick preview

For the first time since 2002, the Safari Rally Kenya is back in the WRC. Here’s your quick preview for the African rally this weekend.

Colin McRae won the last Safari Rally Kenya as part of the WRC calendar back in 2002. In fact, it was McRae’s last and 25th rally win in the WRC which still keeps the famous 1995 World Champion fifth in the all-time most WRC rally wins rankings.

Just like Arctic Rally Finland and Rally Croatia, the crews are heading into the unknown as no one of the current WRC field has driven this rally before. A total of 320.19 kilometres awaits drivers this weekend.

Safari Rally Kenya entry list

11 World Rally Cars are entered for the event. Toyota’s (Ogier, Evans, Rovanperä, Katsuta) and Hyundai’s (Tänak, Neuville, Sordo) drivers line-ups remain unchanged compared to Rally Italia Sardegna last time out.

Adrien Fourmaux is back behind the wheel of the Ford Fiesta WRC for M-Sport. While full-time M-Sport driver Gus Greensmith welcomes Chris Patterson back next to him in the co-drivers seat.

Oliver Solberg makes his WRC gravel debut in the 2C Compétition run Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC, replacing Pierre-Louis Loubet. The final WRC-car on the entry list is driven by Lorenzo Bertelli who competes for the second time this season since February’s Arctic Rally Finland.

Martin Prokop is the only driver who is entered in WRC2 this weekend. Toksport drivers Andreas Mikkelsen, Marco Bulacia and M-Sport’s Teemu Suninen were initially entered in WRC2, but won’t make the trip to Kenya this weekend.

In WRC3, Kenya’s Onkar Rai, Carl Tundo, Tejveer Rai, Karan Patel, Aakif Virani and Poland’s Daniel Chwist will fight for the win. Another notable entrant is the 91-year-old Sobieslaw Zasada. The Pole won the European Rally Championship three times in 1966, 1967 and 1971 and becomes the oldest competitor in a WRC rally ever this weekend.


The action starts on Wednesday afternoon with the 5.4 km long Shakedown stage.

SS1 starts on Thursday afternoon with the 4.84 km Kasarani Super Special in Nairobi.

On Friday and Saturday, the drivers will be tackling six stages each day. On the final day, five relatively short stages remain. Saturday is the longest day of the rally with 132.08 competitive kilometres. However, Friday’s Kedong stage is the longest of the rally with 32.68 kilometres. The deciding 10.56 km long Hell’s Gate Power Stage starts at 13:18 local (12:18 CET) and decides who will be crowned as the 2021 Safari Rally Kenya winner.

Safari Rally Kenya 2021 itinerary

All times local: EAT. CET times in brackets.

Wednesday, June 23
13:01 (12:01) Shakedown Loldia – 5.4 km

Thursday, June 24
14:08 (13:08) SS1 Kasarani Super Special – 4.84 km

Friday, June 25
07:00 (06:00) Service A – KWS Naivasha
08:09 (07:09) SS2 Chui Lodge 1 – 13.34 km
09:05 (08:05) SS3 Kedong 1 – 32.68 km
10:18 (09:18) SS4 Oserian 1 – 18.87 km
12:22 (11:22) Flexi Service B – KWS Nivasha
13:46 (12:46) SS5 Chui Lodge 2 – 13.34 km
14:42 (13:32) SS6 Kedong 2 – 32.68 km
15:55 (14:55) SS7 Oserian 2 – 18.87 km
17:29 (16:29) Flexi Service C – KWS Nivasha

Saturday, June 26
06:55 (05:55) Service D – KWS Naivasha
08:08 (07:08) SS8 Elmenteita 1 – 14.67 km
09:08 (08:08) SS9 Soysambu 1 – 20.33 km
10:22 (09:22) SS10 Sleeping Warrior 1 – 31.04 km
12:37 (11:37) Flexi Service E – KWS Naivasha
14:05 (13:05) SS11 Elmenteita 2 – 14.67 km
15:08 (14:08) SS12 Soysambu 2 – 20.33 km
16:22 (15:22) SS13 Sleeping Warrior 2 – 31.04 km
18:07 (17:07) Flexi Service F – KWS Naivasha

Sunday, June 27
06:25 (05:25) Service G – KWS Naivasha
07:26 (06:26) SS14 Loldia 1 – 11.33 km
08:38 (07:38) SS15 Hell’s Gate 1 – 10.56 km
10:45 (09:45) SS16 Malewa – 9.71 km
11:25 (10:25) SS17 Loldia 2 – 11.33 km
13:18 (12:18) SS18 Hell’s Gate 2 | Power Stage – 10.56 km

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Photo: Twitter @OttTanak