Kenya: Ugandan Officials Draw Positives From WRC Safari Rally

Uganda motorsport officials said the return of the World Rally Championship to Kenya soil after a 19 years absence was a blessing and big boost to their country.

As Safari Rally came to an end on Sunday, the Ugandan officials led by Federation of motorsport club Gerald Kalera said they were optimistic that the WRC will give the rally a clean bill of health during their postmortem report.

He said that Kenya hosting the WRC Safari Rally was a lesson for Ugandan motorsport officials.

"I'm happy I have picked many lessons that I will update the Uganda motorsport fraternity and officials. As an official I didn't mind travelling long distance to come to Kenya. The entire team picked many lessons to upgrade our organisation system of the motorsport in Uganda," he said.

"We hope next year's event will be more successful and hopefully FIA will make sure Kenya hosts its second WRC event as it has proved that it does not only attract fans from Kenya but also across the borders with some of the fans coming from Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Zambia and Malawi among other African countries," said Kalera.

"We are happy as Ugandans to be in Kenya as all the top rally drivers in the world are in Kenya and it would be a cardinal mistake as officials to watch from TV while we can just cross the border and enjoy the thrills to the fullest and learn many lessons as far as motorsport is concerned," he added.

The officials further stated that they came to Kenya because some Ugandan-born drivers were competing in the rally.

"We are pleased to be at home. It's a historic moment for us too. We will have something to say to our Ugandans brothers when we return back home," he said.

Jonathan Kaiso said he was equally excited to be in Kenya during the WRC Safari Rally event.

"Apart from the officials, as ardent motorsport fans we traverse across the continent whenever there is a rally event and we could not afford to miss the WRC Safari Rally in Kenya," said Kaiso. "I'm happy I have seen some of the drivers I see on TV, and honestly it was a memorable experience for me."

The officials said the four Ugandans drivers who participated in the rally learned a lot.

"The Kenyan drivers are above the cut and hopefully our Ugandan drivers have picked lessons and come next year they shall give the Kenyan drivers a good run for their money," said Kaiso.

"Our drivers have benchmarked with world rally champions like Sebastien Ogier and this is not a small mean achievement," said Kaiso. "I have been to past rallies in Kenya at Kedong , Awasi and Kajiado for the past 13 years but this WRC Safari Rally is a tough rally."

The officials said they did not mind crossing the border in Western Kenya where some of the counties are under lockdown due to the third wave of Covid-19.

"The lockdown did not stop us. The passion is way above the risk. I'm happy we're here safe and enjoying the WRC Safari Rally. We explained our mission to Kenya border officials and were allowed to cross," offered Kaiso.

He said they were happy with the Covid-19 strict protocols at the border.

"We were all tested and the good thing is that we were all negative. It is important to be tested and I laud the Kenyan officials for being strict at the border," he added.

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