After 19 years of absence within the World Championship, the Safari Rally Kenya formally made its large comeback within the WRC this Thursday from 1:08 p.m. (in France). Only some minutes after the departure ceremony organized on the foot of the Kenyatta Worldwide Convention Heart within the coronary heart of Nairobi, the 53 crews then set off for the primary tremendous particular positioned north-east of the capital within the Kasarani district.
On a four.84 km figure-of-eight circuit laid out on a large and “clear” monitor, the WRC drivers however took nice pleasure in using in entrance of a number of thousand enthusiastic spectators. On this train the place there’s at all times extra to lose than to realize, the gaps have logically been lowered on this course removed from representing the celebrations scheduled for this weekend.
Usually comfy on this configuration, Sébastien Ogier was as soon as once more the quickest. On the wheel of a Yaris WRC fitted with gentle tires (like his teammates at Toyota Gazoo Racing), the Frenchman took the lead by three tenths towards Kalle Rovanperä. On the similar tempo, Elfyn Evans got here to finish the provisional podium at seven tenths.
Beginning off with laborious tires, the Hyundai Motorsport drivers had just a little extra bother moving into the rhythm. If Ott Tänak remained involved with the Toyota drivers by climbing to fourth place at 2 “5, Thierry Neuville and Dani Sordo conceded 5” zero and 10 “5 respectively. The Belgian got here out just a little extensive in a curve to the precise whereas his teammate was embarrassed by the mud.
Within the “inexperienced persons” duel within the premier class, Oliver Solberg took one of the best begin towards Adrien Fourmaux for 1 “7.
After this brief first stage, critical issues will actually begin this Friday from 7:09 am (in France) with the primary passage within the particular at Chui Lodge. The Safari Rally Kenya shall be adopted in its entirety on Motorsport.com.
Scratch of the day
ES1: S. Ogier