What you need to know:
- Overall total mileage will be 1223.77kms of which 363 kms is competitive. A total of 19 stages made up the competition
- The longest stage was e Sleeping Warrior which was 31.04 kms
Toyota scored the top four places in the WRC Safari Rally with Kalle Rovanpera winning the Kenya’s round of the World Rally Championship in style Sunday.
Rovanpera became the youngest driver to win the Safari Rally after clinching victory in the sixth round of 2022 World Rally Championship.
This was the Finn’s fourth victory out of the six rounds of the 2022 WRC series so far. The only driver to have won the WRC events on three different surfaces - tarmac, snow and gravel.
A similar Toyota Yaris of Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin was placed second overall, while Takamoto Katsuta and Aaron Johnston of Japan made it a hat-trick of the top three positions for the Toyota Team.
Carl Tundo and Tim Jessop found themselves at the wrong end of the rule of the sport after the crew was fine €250 for failing to display the OK Sign Board within one minute of them stopping in the Sleeping Warrior Stage.
Despite the discouraging incident, Tundo, the reigning Kenya National Rally Chapion in addition to the holder of the African Rally Championship title finished in the 13th overall position of the main class driving his Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10.
Tundo also finished as the top-placed driver in the KNRC Class. He was followed in the second place by Jasmeet Chana driving a MItsubishi Lancer Evo10 also. Third place was grabbed by Sachania.
Karan Patel and Tauseef Khan faced the heaviest penalty after the crew was disqualified from the WRC Safari Rally after they were found to have removed FIA Seals from the gearbox housing without informing the the Cheif Scrutiner.
Patel, who has won four out of the last five rounds of the 2022 Kenya National Rally Championship, was accused of interfering with the FIA Seals which should not be interfered with until the end of the rally.
“I am obviously disappointed but what can one do. I personally think there was miss-communication in the whole issue before the Stewards disqualified us from the rally,” Patel told Nation Sport.
The sole handicapped driver in the Safari Rally, Nikhil Sachania finished in a commendable 16th place driving his specially prepared Mitsubishi Lancer Evo10.
The sole female driver in the Kenya’s toughest event, Maxine Wahome finished in the 17th place driving a Ford Fiesta with Waigwa Murage.
The reigning Motor-sportsman of the Year, Aakhif Virani and his aviator Azfar Bhatti we’re placed 18th place driving their Skoda Fabia.
Drama continued to fold on the leading WRC drivers with the latest involving Oliver Solberg whose car stopped in the Oserian Section. The incident led the organizers to canceling the Stage. Drivers were directed to the following stage.
Gus Greensmith, who went through some of the most dramatic incidents during the rally said he was happy to be part the great Safari Rally.
“We cannot compare Kenya’s Safari Rally with the rest of the World. The people here are very welcoming and friendly. The stages are also challenging and entertaining despite the few mishaps I had. I would definitely like to come back next year,” said Greensmith.
Greensmith and his navigator, Jonas Andersson survived serious injuries after rolling their Ford in one of the stages. The crew had to escape through the windscreen after the car landed on its side.
They found it strange that no Marshals came to their rescue under such circumstances. It seems most of the Marshalls followed the rule that no outside assistance should be provided to crew while in the competition.
Ott Tanak was forced to retire from the rally after his car stopped with power steering issue.
The Power Stage was won by Sebastian Ogier. ThePower Stage is a special stage that usually runs as the final stage of a rally in the World Rally Championship (WRC).
Additional championship points are available to the fastest five crews through the stage regardless of where they actually finished in the rally.
Overall total mileage will be 1223.77kms of which 363 kms is competitive. A total of 19 stages made up the competition
The longest stage was e Sleeping Warrior which was 31.04 kms.
The top-10 Finishers:
Kalle Rovenpera/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota Yaris)
Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota Yaris)
Takamoto Katsuta/Aaron Johnston (Toyota Yaris)
Sébastien Ogier/Benjamin Veillas (Toyota Yaris
Thierry Neuvilla/Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai)
Craig Breen/Paul Nagle (Ford)
Jourdan Serderidis/Frédéric Miclotte (Ford)
Sébastien Loeb/Isabelle Galmiche (Ford)
Kajetan Kajetanowicz/Maciej Szczepaniak (Skoda)
Oliver Solberg/Elliot Edmonson (Hyundai)