Intercontinental Rally Challenge organisers have revealed that the KCB Safari Rally will be included on the 2009 schedule despite the fact that several leading teams have elected to miss the African event.

Based in the Kenyan capital Nairobi, the rally will take place from 3-5 April, and will also host the second round of the FIA African Rally Championship. It last appeared on the IRC in 2007, when it formed the opening round of the series.

This season will herald the 57th running of the rally. The rally will begin with a spectator stage in Nairobi on Friday April 3. For the first leg, crews will then head out to Nakuru and the Lake Elementaita region. The second leg will be based close to Nairobi around the small town of Athi River. The finishing ceremony is due to take place on Sunday April 5.

"The Safari Rally is a very famous event and very important to the IRC," IRC general manager Marcello Lotti said. "It will be included on the calendar but we understand some of the teams won't be taking part. We understand this and we won't be forcing them to do so."



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