NAIROBI, Kenya- Organizers of the preliminary Africa Rally Championship Safari have introduced new concepts complying to statutory road safety measures in a bid to return the Safari to the World Rally Championships (WRC).
The Championship scheduled to for March 16-18 will have the designated route planted with bends using hay bales on some long stretches, which have been measured to perfection using the latest satellite technology.
Clerk-of-the course Gurvir Bhabra, recently announced that the second phase will be more detailed as the course veering off the road into bushes with chicanes used for marking and safety.
“We are now working on alternative and escape routes or detours in case of unforeseen circumstances. We are looking at different scenarios,” said Bhabra at the WRC Safari Rally Project offices.
“This however, does not mean the Safari will be easy.
“When the route is rough, competitors tend to be slow and careful but when smooth they drive fast. Chances of something going wrong are always high,” Bhabra cautioned.
His assistant George Mwangi has been out in the field supervising road surface grading and graveling of rough patches for the past one week.
The security will remain tight with marshals’ vehicles stationed after every 5km along the route in case of emergencies.
Bhabra also added that together with Safety director Nazir Yakub, they are taking the issue of safety very seriously by issuing a “pack and walk” policy to designated spectator sections to mitigate on unnecessary crowd movement.
“We want a route concept that will be as close as possible to WRC Standards. This includes introduction of secluded spectators view areas especially in Soysambu ranch on Saturday,” Bhabra continued.
“Jean Todt, the FIA President told us simple and clearly, getting or not getting the Safari back to the WRC is our own decision,” noted Bhabra.
“Federation Internationale de Automobile (FIA) has taken us to the trough. It’s upon us to do the right things, therefore we are not taking anything for granted,” underscored Bhabra.
The organizers will create tailor-made route notes from foreign drivers and mechanics right from the KICC including detours and escape routes.