Rally: WRC Safari Rally 2023 dates announced

Toyota Gazoo Racing team, From Left; Elfyn Evans and his navigator Scott Martin, Kalle Rovanpera (Center) and his navigator Jonne Halttunen, Takamoto Katsuta and his navigator Aaron Johnston poor champaigne on their team leader Jari-Matti Latvala in celebration after winning the WRC Safari Rally Kenya 2022 in position 2,1 and 3 respectively at KWS Headquarters in naivasha on June 26, 2022. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

The 2023 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) calendar is finally out.

The exciting seventh leg of the series, the WRC Safari Rally will be held at the Lakeside town of Naivasha on June 22-25.

Expected to defend the Kenyan leg is the WRC series champion Kalle Rovanpera.

Already, global leading constructor, Toyota Gazoo have announced the 21-year-old Finn in its lineup for the series next year.

Rallye Monte Carlo will open the 2023 championship on January 19-22 followed by Rally Sweden on February 9-12.

Rally Mexico (March 16-19), Croatia Rally (April 20-23), Rally de Portugal ( May 11-14) and Rally Italia Sardegna (June 1-4) will follow in that order before the Safari Rally.

The 2023 edition will see an all-new three-country concept and the return to North and South America as major highlights of the 13-round contest.

In an exciting innovation, the WRC will feature a round that takes place across three countries when Austria, Czech Republic and Germany host the Central European Rally from 26 - 29 October. The asphalt rally will be based out of the southeast German city of Passau.

Running from January to November, the 2023 calendar features a number of regular stops, along with the return of Mexico and Chile for the first time since Covid-19.

“We were absolutely determined to get the WRC calendar back to where it was pre-Covid, with a good spread of events inside and outside Europe," expressed WRC Promoter Senior Director of Events, Simon Larkin.

He continued: "There was very high demand for the limited number of slots on the calendar, but we’re pleased with the range and variety of events we have.

"They will provide a great sporting challenge for the competitors, as well as providing the highest-profile events in each country.”

His thoughts were echoed by WRC Promoter Managing Director Jona Siebel.

“We are incredibly happy to be returning to North and South America,” enthused Siebel. 

“We have maintained a dialogue with the Mexican and Chilean organizers throughout the Covid pandemic and we are confident this is now the right time for our return.

“Additionally, with an exciting new concept added to the mix, the WRC is well-placed to reach more fans than ever before.”

Full schedule for the 2023 WRC Rally Calendar

January 19-22: Rallye Monte Carlo 

February 9-12: Rally Sweden 

March 16-19: Rally Mexico

April 20-23: Croatia Rally

May 11-14: Rally de Portugal

June 1-4: Rally Italia Sardegna 

June 22-25: Safari Rally Kenya

July 20-23: Rally Estonia

August 3-6: Secto Rally Finland

September 7-10: EKO Acropolis Rally Greece

September 28- October 1: Chile

October 26-29: Central Europe Rally

November 16-19: Rally Japan
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