Service park takes shape in Naivasha

By People Reporter
Wednesday, April 7th, 2021
The service park in Naivasha . INSET: FIA president Jean Todt (left) with Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed during the tour of the venue last year. Photo/PD/ANWAR SIDI
In summary

Edwin Otieno

The new asphalt Service Park for the Safari Rally based at Naivasha’s Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute is set to become the biggest ever in the history of the World Rally Championship (WRC).

Safari Rally CEO Phineas Kimathi during a media route tour at the weekend revealed that the designated service area will become one of it’s kind when pending construction works are complete.

“The service park is ready. We are just adding a few more facilities to expand space because we need ample space due to Covid-19.

FIA has introduced new regulations on how we should run events in view of the fact that Covid-19 is with us and will be here for quite some time.

So we have added 50m more and we are building a VVIP Pavilion adjacent to the service area as well a borehole to act as an alternative to the piped Naivasha Water that we already have at the venue,” Kimathi told People Sport.

The asphalt area will be the designated zone where World Rally Championship Priority 1, 2 and 3 teams will be servicing their cars.

Contractors are currently working round the clock to complete an ultramodern presidential pavilion.

Kimathi noted that the service area will transform into a mega city of the WRC kind where world rally teams will carry out the bulk of their activities on arrival.

Construction of the pavilion is set to be complete before the event slated for June 24 -27.

The Service Park asphalt surface has dimensions of 220m by 90m.

It will comprise several other facets of the WRC kind including the media zone, parking for VIPs and teams.

“Several containers will be shipped to the country through the Mai Mahiu dry port.

The containers will create a small city around the Service Park area which is what will add immense zest to the event.

The essence of this infrastructure is to ensure we run an A1 WRC event.The cars will all be fixed right here at the service park. So it will be a beehive of activity,” Kimathi said.

The fabled Safari Rally is set to return to the WRC calendar for the first time in 19 years. Safari’s Super Special Stage (SSS) will be based at Kasarani Stadium with the power stage being run at Hell’s Gate. 

Among the stages that will be run on Safari include Elementaita, Sleeping Warrior, Loldia, Malewa and Kedong among others.

Ceremonial Start will be at the iconic KICC. Kedong ranch, located on the foothills of Mt. Longonot, and on the shores of Lake Naivasha, will feature 21 designated media filming points

World Rally teams this year are Germany based Hyundai Motorsport, Britain based M-Sport Ford and Toyota Gazoo Racing.

Hyundai has the likes of  Ott Tanak of Estonia, Thirty Neuville (Belgium), Dani Sordo of Soain and Craig Green of Ireland.

M-Sport Ford has Gus Greensmith (GB), Teemu Suninen (Finland), Adrien Fourmaux (France) and Italian Lorenzo Bertelli. Toyota Gazoo Racing is fielding the likes of Sebastien Ogier of France, Elfyn Evans, Kalle Rovanpera of Finland and Japanese Takamoto Katsuta.