Again within the World Championship after 19 years of absence, the Safari Rally Kenya left no respite for the WRC drivers till the final kilometer! Though diminished to 48.56 km, the final stage was in the long run not a stroll within the park.
Credited with a lead of over 57 “firstly of the ultimate day, Thierry Neuville appeared in a wonderful place to win. Chief on 11 of the 13 phases lined up to now, he had even managed to keep away from all of the traps and particularly the violent storm of SS13.
In Loldia’s first cross (SS14), a stage with a seemingly innocent profile, the Hyundai Motorsport driver skilled a merciless and unexplained finish to the weekend. Having began at a very good tempo within the intermediates, the # 11 i20 Coupe WRC was stopped in its tracks following the rupture of its proper rear shock absorber. From Olympian calm to the cell, the Saint-Vithois lastly let his rage explode on arrival, earlier than his staff introduced, a couple of minutes later, his last abandonment.
This new twist robotically enabled the Toyota Gazoo Racing drivers to carry out properly within the normal classification. Beginning with Sébastien Ogier! Due to an excellent alternative of tires (six smooth) for these smooth and moist tracks, the seven-time World Champion didn’t need to power his expertise to realize greater than 17 “from his teammate Takamoto Katsuta. Left with a set of tires. completely different (4 exhausting and two smooth), the Japanese clearly didn’t have the weapons to compete.
Preventing for second place firstly this morning, the (one-sided?) Match ended up being a duel for victory, with Katsuta retaining a meager zero.eight benefit after the 2 morning phases and main a spherical of the WRC for the primary time in his profession Ejected from the rostrum on Saturday night after his fog issues within the SS13 storm, Ott Tänak lastly benefited from Neuville’s withdrawal to get better the underside step of the rostrum.
The fourth stage continues this Sunday, from 9.45am in France, with the one passage within the Malewa particular. The Safari Rally Kenya will probably be adopted in its entirety on Motorsport.com.
ES14: S. Ogier
ES15: E. Evans