THE arrival of the new-look East African Safari Rally along with the return of World Rally Championship to its birthplace is likely to make 2020 the banner year in regional motorsports scene.
The regional and global level rallies, as revealed by the Automobile Association of Tanzania in its 2020 calendar, will be accompanied with seven rounds of the National Rally Championship (NRC) and one round of the continental class event; the Africa Rally Championship (ARC) whose dates are 19th and 20th September this year.
“It will be a busiest rally season as our drivers will be engaged in the regional, continental and world-class rallying events,” said Satinder Birdi, the head of motorsports from AAT.
According to the AAT calendar the busy motorsports scheduled will be start in Kenya, the venue of the inaugural East African Rally Championship and the season opener.
The season opener will be staged on February 8th and 9th and will involve all drivers from the region.
Two weeks on February 22 and 23, drivers will travel to Ivory Coast where the opening round of African Rally Championship (ARC) will be staged.
According to the AAT calendar, local drivers and navigators will be in Moshi, Kilimanjaro on March 7th and 8th to open the season with the national rally championship.
Kilimanjaro Motorsports Club have been honoured to open the season with the nationallevel rally.
Dar es Salaam-based Mzizima Motorsports club, will stage the second round of the National Rally Championship on April 18th and 19th this year.
After the opening round of ARC in Ivory Coast, drivers will head to South Africa where the second round of the continental class will be staged on April 25th and 26th this year.
Mountain Gorilla of Rwanda is named the third round of the continental level rally to rev off on May 16 and 17 this year.
Two weeks later, drivers and navigators will be heading to Iringa where its club; Iringa Motor Sports Club will host the third round of the national level rally on May 30th and 31st this year.
The AAT calendar further pointed Zambia as the host of the African Rally Championship and the continental class event will be staged there on June 20th and 21st this year.
The newly-formed Mount Usambara Club will host the fourth round of the National Rally Championship on July 4th and 5th taking much of Usambara mountain as the main route.
July 18th and 19th will be the historic day for the whole region as it will be the dates when the World Rally Championship (WRC) return where it was born over seven decades ago.
It is in Kenya where the first Safari Rally was held from 27 May to 1 June 1953 as the East African Coronation Safari involving Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika, as a celebration of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
The return of World Rally Championship, which was developed from Safari Rally, means it has come where it was born.
Dar es Salaam Motor Sports Club(DMSC) will host the fifth round of the national level rally on August 8th and 9th and week later drivers will be in Uganda to compete in the Pearl of Africa Rally on August 15th and 16th in areas around Kampala and Wakiso district.
September 19th and 20th are the dates when the Tanzania round of Africa Rally Championship will be staged in areas around Highland Estates-Ubena.
Burundi will host for the first time the fourth round of East African Rally Championship whose dates are October 17th and 18th this year.
Arusha Motorsports Club will host the seventh round of the national level rally on October 31st and November 1st in areas around Arusha city.
According to Birdi, East African Rally Championship will be staged as a candidate rally.