The East African Safari Classic Rally has received a KES.6 million boost from Safaricom PLC through its M-PESA Super App platform.
The nine-day rally event, which kicks off this Saturday, 9th December, and runs up to the 18th, has attracted a field of 63 drivers from 27 countries globally, with 44 international participants and 19 local contenders. The rally will cover approximately 4000 kilometers, traversing 11 counties cutting across Kilifi, Nakuru, Nairobi, and back. The prize-giving ceremony will take place at Diani.
“Safaricom has been a key supporter of the East African Classic Safari Rally and motorsports in general. Our involvement in this event underlines our commitment to supporting and nurturing talents in the country, recognizing it as one of the sports that engages many Kenyans. This year, we have committed KES 6 million to support the event, and we will also be offering a twenty-percent cashback to all our customers using the M-PESA App to book their flights, buses, and the Madaraka Express for the rally, and throughout the festive season,” said Juliana Rotich, Head of Fintech Solutions at Safaricom Plc.
This year’s Classic Rally rekindles the spirit of the original Safari Rally, which put East Africa on the motorsport map and earned an unassailable reputation as the world’s greatest and toughest rally.
“This year, we have recorded a significant entry of 63 drivers, surpassing last year’s numbers. The rally will cover a challenging 4000 kilometers, traversing eleven counties, making it one of the most difficult rallies we have ever had, especially with the prevailing rainy weather conditions. The event serves not only to promote rallying sport but also as a showcase for magical Kenya, aiming to boost Kenyan tourism as we navigate through the challenging courses. I also want to urge everyone involved and those coming to watch to prioritize safety,” said Joey Ghose, Chairman of The East African Safari Classic Rally.
The East African Safari Classic rally has been running every two years since 2003 and is open to two-wheel drive, naturally aspirated rally cars built before 1985. The race aims to showcase the beauty of the East African landscape with vehicles racing through world-famous game parks, with overnight stops at the region’s finest lodges and hotels.
The event not only benefits supported charities but also various businesses along the route from small kiosks and SMEs to 5-star hotels, fuel stations, convenience stores, and restaurants. It is estimated that through the rally the various countries benefit from hundreds of millions of shillings.
Some of the notable Kenyan drivers featuring in the 11th edition of EASCR include the defending champion Baldev Singh Chager, former champion Kris Rosenbergernot Kenyan Safari Rally legend Ian Duncan, who finished third last season, and Glen Edmunds.