Safari Rally 2024: Tundo revs off first as Ruto flags off Safari

President William Ruto shake hands with Kenya National Rally Champion Carl Tundo during the launch of the 70th Anniversary of the World Rally Championship at KICC. March 28, 2024. [Jonah Onyango, Standar]

President William Ruto has told rally fans around the world to take advantage of a visa free Kenya to come and watch the 2024 World Rally Championships Safari Rally.

He said as a tourist destination, it was the right time for the motorsports enthusiasts to cruise to Kenya with ease without any visa impediments.

“As a country that has is visa-free, it’s your time to take advantage of this hospitality to come watch these machines on Easter holidays,” he told the attentive crowd who came to witness of the flagging off of the 71st Safari Rally at Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC) on Thursday.

The Head of State said he was impressed with the return of the event to its traditional dates of Easter holidays.

He appealed to officials of International Automobile Association (FIA) and World Rally Championships (WRC) to consider having the event run for five days instead of three as it was in the past editions.

“Consider having it (WRC Safari Rally) for five instead of three days on Easter holidays,” he said as he flagged off the first 10 cars in the company of Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba and WRC Safari Rally officials.

He said this year, a viewership of 100 million people is expected to watch the event globally compared to 80 million last year.

“And that makes to be a tourist destination on Easter holidays,” said President Ruto.

First of the ramp was five-time Safari Rally champion Carl ‘Flash’ Tundo who drove off with his longtime ally Tim Jessop in Ford Fiesta.

Tundo said he was happy to race in his 24th Safari Rally and hopes to do well in a game that is dearly in his heart. 

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