World Rally Championship 2023 Shakedown awakens Naivasha, as Kihika and Ruto grace Rally Shakedown
Written by Roy Lumbe
Nakuru Governor Susan Kihika joined President William Ruto at the flagging-off Shakedown ceremony for the World Rally Championship (WRC) Safari Rally at Kenya Wildlife Society Training Institute.
Governor Kihika said Nakuru was proud to host the 2023 WRC Safari Rally stating that the globally recognized event was a boon to Naivasha and the County through the provision of socio-economic benefits and jobs for the youths.
President Ruto flagged seven vehicles, among them one driven by Carl Tundo, as a precursor to tomorrow’s official flagging of the 2023 WRC Safari Rally where he later took on the steering wheel of the race car for a test drive around the circuit.
President Ruto described the WRC Safari Rally which has attracted 43 drivers, among them 21 Kenyans as a momentous event not only for Nakuru County but for all Kenyans. He praised the organizers for adopting the greening theme and planting one million trees.
Later at Loldia, President Ruto and Governor Kihika and their delegations watched the race cars as they tasted the heat, dust, and rough terrain they will encounter for the three-day event starting tomorrow.
“This thing is crazy, madness. I mean, it’s an experience you cannot forget. I mean sheer speed. You can hardly see the road. You can hardly think you can hardly see the bend. And these guys are professional. It is out of this world and it’s a life-changing adventure if you asked me whether I want to do this again, I’m not sure,” said Ruto.
He added: “It was my first time in a rally car, my first time and hopefully I will I will assemble myself and do this again.
According to the president, hotels and hustlers are doing business saying the support towards rally drivers and the sport was enormous adding, “People have come to enjoy themselves by people who have come on holiday,”.
The president promised more support from the government in the future for the Safari Rally revealing that already the Government of Kenya is putting in a billion and a half into the event.
Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba, Kakamega Senator Bonny Khalwale, Kenya Motor Sports Federation chief executive officer Phineas Kimathi and Nakuru County Executive Committee Member for Sports Josephine Achieng were present.