President William Ruto has congratulated Sebastian Ogier and Vincent Landais for winning the World Rally Championship (WRC) Safari Rally.
Speaking in Naivasha during the prize-giving ceremony today, president Ruto praised the two for braving the challenging terrain to claim the title.
“You are conquerors of terrain and machine, and King of the 70th Safari Rally 2023.” The president noted.
The president applauded Toyota Gazoo Racing for winning the manufacturer’s title.
On his part, Prime Cabinet Secretary lauded the WRC championship for putting Kenya and Rift Valley on the global map.
Speaking during the award ceremony of the just concluded WRC Safari Rally in Naivasha, Mudavadi said that the rallying event had put up an epic moment for Kenya by conquering the Rift Valley, known for its rough terrain, an inducement to the safari rally enthusiasts.
“You made us breathless. This is an epic moment. You have scaled the Rift Valley and today the World will be asking the question who can conquer the Rift Valley We wait to see that happen again and again.” Mudavadi noted.
The rally which brought over 70 million viewership globally, was won by the French duo of Sebastian Ogier and Vincent Landais.
He also saluted the teams of Kalle Rovanpera and Jonne Halttumen and Elfy Evans and Scott Martin respectively for finishing on the podium.
“I commend the 19 Kenyan drivers who took part in the 70th Safari Rally, among them Carl Tundo who was third in WRC category 2.” Ruto added.
The president said the government is committed to the establishment of Safari Rally academy to nurture talents in the country.
He said the academy will serve as an international centre for promotion of Safari Rally activities in the country.
President Ruto said sporting activities have greatly contributed to the country’s economic growth.
“We’ve agreed with the Ministry of Sports to establish an academy for Safari Rally to nurture talents and develop sports among the youth.” He added.
President Ruto, at the same time, praised the management and sponsors of this year’s Safari Rally for planting 19 million trees as part of efforts to contain effects of climate change.
Present were Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua, Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba and Jona Siebel, Managing Director of WRC Promoter among others.