WRC Announces New Dates For Safari Rally 2024

WRC indicated that the change to the Safari Rally dates is a significant one as it moves back to the traditional Easter holiday weekend date for the first time in 26 years.

WRC Announces New Dates For Safari Rally 2024
WRC Rally cars face off in Kasarani, Nairobi on June 22, 2023. /WRC

The World Rally Championship (WRC) has released its schedule for the 2024 rally season, making changes to the dates for the Safari Rally.

WRC indicated that the change to the Safari Rally dates is a significant one as it moves back to the traditional Easter holiday weekend date for the first time in 26 years.

The Safari Rally will be held between March 28-31, 2024 in Nairobi and Naivasha, according to the calendar which was released by the Federation Internationale de I’ Automobile (FIA) World Motorsports Council.

"A significant shift takes place at Safari Rally Kenya, which returns to a more traditional 28 - 31 March date, having run during June in recent years.

Schedule for the 2024 WRC season as released on October 19, 2023. /WRC.COM

"This shift to Easter weekend will provide an even sterner test as it coincides with the beginning of Naivasha’s rainy season," stated WRC in part.

The Safari Rally has been held in June every year since 2021 when it made its comeback for the first time in 18 years.

"Glad we have come to an amicable understanding with the Promoter, FIA and all concerned to revert Kenya's iconic Safari Rally to its traditional Easter weekend," stated Sports Cabinet Secretary (CS) Ababu Namwamba.

WRC Safari Rally CEO Phineas Kimathi hailed the move to revert the schedule to the Easter weekend for next year as it reminisces memories of millions of Kenyans looking forward to catching the highly anticipated motorsport event.

“This is very good Mashujaa Day announcement news and a celebration for all Kenyans as we retrace the Safari Rally journey of 70 years ago when millions of Kenyans looked forward to the Easter weekend every year to enjoy the thrills of the Safari Rally,” stated Kimathi.

In 2023, French driver Sebastien Ogier, who won the Safari Rally in 2021, reclaimed his title in the series after dethroning reigning WRC champion, Kalle Rovanpera who won the 2022 Safari Rally by 6.7 seconds.

Toyota Gazoo Racing had secured a second consecutive 1-2-3-4 finish in the Safari Rally after Elfyn Evans completed the podium ahead of Takamoto Katsuta, continuing its historic run set in 2022 for the first time since 1993.

WRC Schedule

The new season begins with the iconic Rallye Monte-Carlo (January 25-28), taking in the famous Col de Turini passes high in the French Alps which test drivers like no other.

Following closely are the frozen forests of Rally Sweden (February 15-18), the only pure snow and ice fixture on the calendar before the Safari edition in March.

Croatia Rally (April 18-21) has drawn in hundreds of thousands of spectators since its WRC debut in 2021. Its unique asphalt tracks based around the capital of Zagreb vary from smooth to badly broken and are set to return in all their glory, as will the legendary gravel tests of Vodafone Rally de Portugal (May 9-12) – also a huge hit with the crowds.

Mediterranean charm awaits at Rally Italia Sardegna (May 30 - June 2) before the eagerly anticipated return of ORLEN 80th Rally Poland (June 27-30), back after a hiatus at the sport’s top level since 2017. Poland's lightning-fast gravel roads promise a thrilling spectacle which will only be amplified further by the country’s enthusiastic fanbase.

"WRC is thrilled to welcome a newcomer in Tet Rally Latvia (18 - 21 July), located in the vibrant southern coastal city of Liepāja. Building on years of success at the FIA European Rally Championship level, the loose-surface fixture underscores the clear pathway for events to ascend to the global stage of WRC," added WRC on its official website.

Speed enthusiasts can look forward to the high-octane Secto Rally Finland (August 1-4), renowned for its jaw-dropping speeds and gravity-defying jumps. The excitement then takes a different form at EKO Acropolis Rally Greece (September 5-8), offering a very different flavour with its winding, rocky mountain stages.

Once again, South America asserts its presence with Rally Chile Bio Bío (September 26-29), reaffirming the championship's global reach.

Sebastien Ogier in action in a muddy Sleeping Warrior stage during the 2023 WRC Safari Rally on June 24, 2023. /WRC.COM

Central European Rally (October 31–November 3) will sweep across Austria, the Czech Republic and Germany as the penultimate round before the grand finale unfolds in Asia at FORUM8 Rally Japan (November 21-24).

Commenting on the calendar, WRC Promoter managing director Jona Siebel said: “We’re eagerly anticipating another action-packed season in 2024 with a calendar that not only celebrates our esteemed traditions but also propels us into an exciting future.

“Our return to Poland and our debut in Latvia underscore our commitment to delivering a fresh and exciting WRC experience for fans and competitors alike.”

Every round of the WRC season will be broadcast live on WRC’s groundbreaking new platform Rally.TV, as well as via traditional broadcast partners around the globe.