One of the largest complaints I have been hearing in regards to the FIA World Rally Championship is the lack of legacy events. Kenya and the Safari Rally are hoping to change a little of that in 2012.
The Safari Rally was one of the most beautiful on the calendar and a fan favorite for many years. The event was eventually cut due to lack of funding, but due to some inner workings of the FIA, the event may once again grace the WRC calendar. The event has been on the IRC calendar twice for the 2007 and 2009 championship. The plan is to have the FIA inspect the event for the 2010 and 2011 runnings and then move to a WRC candidate event in 2012 where no points will be awarded. Hopefully, if all goes well the event will be back on the WRC calendar in 2013. FIA Presidential nominee and former WRC champion Ari Vatanen said that if elected president, the Safari Rally WOULD be back on the calendar. It would appear that Jean Todt will also make this a priority as the FIA tries to raise the WRC from the brink of extinction.
This is a great story for the WRC and has some potential behind it. The FIA has removed the 100,000 euro fee for hosting candidate events in hopes of bringing back some of the older tracks and some new venues as well. The FIA and the ISC are continuing to find ways to improve the future of the WRC, this is one positive step in bringing back the luster of the current rally calendar.