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WRC – Sensational Ogier captures Safari Rally Kenya triumph

WRC – Sensational Ogier captures Safari Rally Kenya triumph

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Frenchman repels Kalle Rovanperä’s cost on nervy closing day as Toyota occupies the main quartet two years in a row.

Sébastien Ogier defied team-mate Kalle Rovanperä’s cost to go residence a dream 1-2-3-4 end for Toyota Gazoo Racing on a spectacular closing day at Safari Rally Kenya.

Ogier recorded his third victory from simply 5 begins thus far this season however his rally very almost unravelled in Sunday’s second particular stage when a patch of Kenya’s notorious fesh-fesh sand despatched his GR Yaris automotive broad on a right-hand bend.

The Frenchman, combating arduous to recuperate time misplaced to Rovanperä within the rocky opener, clipped a tree and ripped off his automotive’s complete rear tailgate. Amazingly successful the stage and making on a regular basis again, he then patched the hole utilizing a bin liner to maintain mud at bay in Hell’s Gate 1.

Extra everlasting repairs in service didn’t extinguish the drama, nevertheless, as all 4 Yaris crews accomplished the penultimate blast with dust-induced overheating engines. Ogier, one of many hardest hit, noticed his lead whittled down to only 9.2sec earlier than the Wolf Energy Stage finale, the place the eight-time world champion’s run was once more removed from clear, arriving on the flying end with a cracked windscreen.

He held place, triumphing by 6.7sec after 4 brutal days to spearhead Toyota’s second clear sweep in as many Safari Rally editions.

President William Ruto offered Ogier and co-driver Vincent Landais with their trophies, commemorating Ogier’s second win on the occasion, amid beautiful surroundings at Hell’s Gate.

“Unbelievable! Have a look at that, even on the Energy Stage I received a stone on the windscreen. We had a variety of points to face – it may have been a extra snug rally for us when it comes to tempo. A number of misfortune however we introduced it residence,” quipped Ogier.

Ending as runner-up had a silver lining for the title-defending Rovanperä, who prolonged his championship result in 37 factors after spherical seven of 13.

He mentioned: “You at all times need to struggle for the win however we did our greatest beginning first automotive on the street, so relating to that I feel it’s not absolutely dangerous. Good factors for the season anyway,” provided Rovanperä on the completion of the Wolf Energy Stage.

Takamoto Katsuta’s hopes of surpassing team-mate Elfyn Evans and attaining a 3rd Safari Rally podium vanished when his automotive’s hybrid unit stopped working, sapping important efficiency. He settled for fourth general, 25.3sec again from the Toyota-driving Welshman with Ogier and Rovanperä greater than two minutes up the street.

Dani Sordo overcame energy steering failure in SS16 to complete an remoted fifth on the finish of a testing weekend for Hyundai Motorsport, which now trails Toyota by 42 factors within the producers’ title race.

Early podium challenger Esapekka Lappi was manner down the order after being suffering from transmission points in his i20 N whereas Thierry Neuville, recovering from suspension failure on Friday, may solely muster eighth.

Tyre troubles earlier within the rally prevented M-Sport Ford Puma drivers Ott Tänak and Pierre-Louis Loubet from mounting any type of assault. They completed sixth and seventh respectively.

Eighth-placed Kajetan Kajetanowicz secured his second Kenyan WRC2 victory in a Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo. Oliver Solberg was not nominated to attain factors within the help class however completed ninth general whereas Martin Prokop accomplished the highest 10.

The FIA World Rally Championship returns to Europe subsequent month when the super-fast gravel roads of Rally Estonia host spherical eight from 20 – 23 July.

Safari Rally Kenya Ultimate Standings:
1. S Ogier / V Landais FRA Toyota GR Yaris 3h 30m 42.5s
2. Ok Rovanperä / J Halttunen FIN Toyota GR Yaris +6.7s
3. E Evans / S Martin GBR Toyota GR Yaris +2m 58.5s
4. T Katsuta / A Johnston JPN Toyota GR Yaris +3m 23.8s
5. D Sordo / C Carrera ESP Hyundai i20 N +5m 05.4s
6. O Tänak / M Järveoja EST Ford Puma +9m 14.4s

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