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WRC - 2023 | Round 7 - Safari Rally Kenya | Winner - Sebastien Ogier

Sebastien Ogier wins the eventful and wild Safari Rally, Kenya. Toyota Gazoo Racing team finishes top 4 spots, with all their top brass cars...

Sebastien Ogier wins the eventful and wild Safari Rally, Kenya. Toyota Gazoo Racing team finishes top 4 spots, with all their top brass cars clean sweeping the competition to finish the muddy forest roads on all three steps on the podium. On Sunday, June 26, 2023.

Podium 1, 2, 3 for Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team, at Safari Rally, Kenya
Podium 1, 2, 3 for Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team, at Safari Rally, Kenya. Photo: Sophie Graillon

Dominating the rally from the beginning till the end, Ogier kept his lead since Friday morning till the end. It was not easy for the eight time world champion who had his share of the drama on several occasions, and winning the event over his team-mate and reigning world champ Kalle Rovenpera. In one incident on the special stage, his entire tailgate flew away when he nudged a tree. He was surprised when he found about it at the end of the stage, however his pace was very competitive nonetheless.

Although only 6.7s separated the duo, the third spot was accomplished by their other team-mate Elfyn Evans at a distant 2m58.5s gap. Toyota's GR Yaris Rally1 HYBRID rally cars performed well throughout the rally, just like in the previous year.

Saturday Highlights: Ogier kept his lead intact with just over 16s, despite several punctures. Downpour made the special stage (Sleeping Warrior 2) extremely slippery, making it difficult for car to pass through. Esapekka Lappi retired, as his Hyundai i20 WRC developed issues with its powertrain.

Friday Highlights: Ogier claimed the lead from the opening from Msport's Ford Puma WRC driver Tanak, and ahead of everyone. Sebastien Ogier kept his lead unchanged till the end to win the rally, not without his share of challenges the rally threw at him.

Safari Rally began on Thursday with the Shakedown runs, and witnessed Takamoto Katsuta spectacularly rolling his Toyota GR Yaris Rally1 on his third run. Not happy with the outcome, he said that it came as a surprise as his previous runs had no such issues. The only one (opening) stage, of the rally was held with Ott Tanak being the fastest, ahead to the rally winner Ogier.

Safari Rally is famous for the environment in which the competition is held, ensuring wildlife interactions, infamous fesh-fesh (talcum powder like dust) on the muddy roads that can get slimy and slippery sometimes worse than icy grips. However, it is the local spectators, who could make any event special, and it is where Kenyans' shine.

Overall Results

1#17FRA S. OGIERFRA V. LANDAISGR Yaris Rally1 HYBRIDM3:30:42.53:30:42.5
2#69FIN K. ROVANPERÄFIN J. HALTTUNENGR Yaris Rally1 HYBRIDM3:30:49.23:30:49.2+6.7+6.7
3#33GBR E. EVANSGBR S. MARTINGR Yaris Rally1 HYBRIDM3:33:41.03:33:41.0+2:51.8+2:58.5
4#18JPN T. KATSUTAIRL A. JOHNSTONGR Yaris Rally1 HYBRID3:34:06.33:34:06.3+25.3+3:23.8
5#6ESP D. SORDOESP C. CARRERAi20 N Rally1 HYBRIDM3:35:37.910.03:35:47.9+1:41.6+5:05.4
6#8EST O. TÄNAKEST M. JÄRVEOJAPuma Rally1 HYBRIDM3:39:56.93:39:56.9+4:09.0+9:14.4
7#7FRA P. LOUBETBEL N. GILSOULPuma Rally1 HYBRIDM3:46:58.23:46:58.2+7:01.3+16:15.7
8#21POL K. KAJETANOWICZPOL M. SZCZEPANIAKFabia EvoWRC2 (DC/CC)3:57:15.93:57:15.9+10:17.7+26:33.4
9#20SWE O. SOLBERGGBR E. EDMONDSONFabia Evo3:57:46.52:00.03:59:46.5+2:30.6+29:04.0
10#23CZE M. PROKOPCZE Z. JURKAFiesta Mk IIWRC2 (DC/CC)4:08:43.64:08:43.6+8:57.1+38:01.1
11#26KEN C. TUNDOKEN T. JESSOPFabiaWRC2 (DC/CC)4:11:38.64:11:38.6+2:55.0+40:56.1
12#4FIN E. LAPPIFIN J. FERMi20 N Rally1 HYBRIDM4:12:47.410.04:12:57.4+1:18.8+42:14.9
13#24DEU A. KREMERDEU T. GOTTSCHALKFabia EvoWRC2 (DCM/CC)4:13:30.81:10.04:14:40.8+1:43.4+43:58.3
14#34PRY D. DOMINGUEZESP R. PEÑATEFiesta Rally3WRC34:37:57.14:37:57.1+23:16.3+1:07:14.6
15#27POL D. CHWISTPOL K. HELLERFabia RSWRC2 (DC/CC)4:52:52.14:52:52.1+14:55.0+1:22:09.6
16#32KEN S. SINGH VOHRAKEN A. KHANFabia EvoWRC2 (DC/CC)5:23:48.35:23:48.3+30:56.2+1:53:05.8
17#38CAN J. BAILEYCAN J. WILLETTSFiesta Rally3WRC3 (DM)5:33:05.95:33:05.9+9:17.6+2:02:23.4
18#37KEN M. KIMATHIKEN M. KIONIFiesta Rally3WRC35:42:54.71:00.05:43:54.7+10:48.8+2:13:12.2
19#44GBR N. SACHANIAKEN D. PATELLancer Evo X5:48:23.14:10.05:52:33.1+8:38.4+2:21:50.6
20#45KEN M. RATHODGBR J. MACTAVISHLancer Evo X5:54:31.56:00.06:00:31.5+7:58.4+2:29:49.0

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