After nearly 20 years away, the FIA World Rally Championship makes a long-awaited return to Africa and the Safari Rally in Kenya this week.
Even as one of the most famous events in all of motorsport, it represents a trip into the unknown for championship leader Sébastien Ogier and all of his rivals, and is expected to live up to its old reputation as the toughest rally on the calendar.
As on every round in 2021, Red Bull TV will have all of the build-up to the event in its exclusive preview show on Thursday, as well as daily highlights shows from Friday to Sunday. It’s all available to watch on-demand at any time.
Kenya: Why you should watch
First held in 1953 and part of the WRC schedule up until 2002, the Safari Rally became notorious as the most demanding event in rallying. It was previously held on open public roads and at one point featured over 5000 competitive kilometres. It also became iconic for the stunning scenery – complete with incredible local wildlife that made sure the rally lived up to its name.
For its comeback to the global stage, the Safari will be staged on closed roads and over distances similar to any other modern WRC round: 320.19 kilometres across 18 stages, to be precise. But a big challenge is still expected, especially as the leading crews all need to make brand new pace-notes during the pre-event recce. Testing restrictions mean the teams will not gave had the chance to try out their cars over local roads until Wednesday’s shakedown.
The conditions can also be expected to be tough, with drivers needing to tackle a combination of high-speed roads and rocky sections. And should it rain, some of the dusty tracks could turn to deep mud in no time at all.
After taking his third win of the season on the last event in Sardinia, Sébastien Ogier has an 11-point lead in the championship over his Toyota team-mate Elfyn Evans. Hyundai’s lead contender Thierry Neuville is 29 points from the lead, with Ott Tänak playing catch-up at 57 points adrift. But all is to play for Kenya with the form impossible to predict.
As well as Toyota’s 20-year-old Kalle Rovanperä – whose father Harri finished second on the WRC’s last visit to Kenya in 2002 – two other young guns will take on the Safari challenge in World Rally Cars. Adrien Fourmaux (pictured below) makes only his third start in an M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC, while Oliver Solberg steps into a Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC for just the second time at this level.
Tune in with Red Bull TV – wherever you’re online
The Red Bull TV coverage from Kenya begins on Thursday evening: the perfect chance to hear what the WRC service park expects from its African adventure.
You can then catch up on the best of the action from the stages in the daily highlights shows to be broadcast on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Every broadcast can be viewed on-demand at any time, wherever you’re connected on redbull.tv or via the app.
Red Bull TV Broadcast Schedule: Safari Rally Kenya
Preview show: Thursday 24 June, 19:00 local time (18:00 CEST)
Highlights show: Friday 25 June, 22:00 local time (21:00 CEST)
Highlights show: Saturday 26 June, 22:00 local time (21:00 CEST)
Highlights show: Sunday 27 June, 22:00 local time (21:00 CEST)
Watch Red Bull TV on all your devices, wherever you’re connected