The World Rally Championship has returned to Africa through the big door. The Rally Safari has not disappointed anyone, with extreme toughness and constant changes of leader that ended with the victory of the almost always, Sébastien Ogier, who leads the way to his eighth world championship.
Thierry Neuville was signing an impeccable rally until SundayHe was the only one without mishaps and had victory in hand, but then he hit a stone and his journey was over. It is the third consecutive defeat that Hyundai suffers in rallies that practically had won.
Neuville had the victory made until he hit a stone
That the journey of the WRC in Kenya was going to be torture for the drivers was already seen from day one, when they left several of the favorites, such as Elfyn Evans, Kalle Rovanperä or the Spanish Dani Sordo, who hit a stone and left your Hyundai suspension damaged. Others, including Ogier, suffered punctures.
The rally was very expensive for Neuville, who had an abysmal advantage almost a minute after the day on Saturday. He was the only one who was completely freeing himself from the traps of the safari, until that stone crossed his path on Sunday morning, when he was already savoring victory.
The leadership fell into the hands of Japanese Toyota’s Takamoto Katsuta, which was doing a pristine rally until then, consolidated in the podium positions. But he was only eight tenths ahead of an Ogier who had been coming back, and who finished the task in the last stages to add the Rally Safari to his extensive record.
After finishing Friday’s stage with a bumpy suspension, a flat tire and dragging for two sections, Ogier has done a survival exercise not only to add this prestigious rally to his record in which, in principle, it was going to be his first and only chance to win it, but also to escape in the general classification.
Now his advantage is 34 compared to his partner Elfyn EvansWhile the first Hyundai, Neuville’s, is 56. That is, everything is on track for the French to add his eighth world title in what will be his last full-time season. How different it would all be without Neuville’s misfortune.
❌ A large stone in the middle of the track has broken a suspension arm of our car, forcing us to abandon Stage 1.– Dani Sordo (aniDaniSordo) June 25, 2021
❌ A big stone in the middle of the stage has broken a suspension arm of our car, forcing us to retire from the Leg 1.#HMSGOfficial #WRC pic.twitter.com/MsxmpEFxXv
The third position of the podium has been for Ott Tänak, the 2019 world champion who has at least saved Hyundai’s honor by stepping on the box after another difficult rally. The proof of the Safari’s difficulty is that we have seen three local Kenyan drivers from the WRC3 category finish in the top ten. Field experience is a degree.
Safari Rally 2021 Results
|1||#1||S. OGIER||J. GREASES||Yaris WRC||M||3:18:11.3|
|2||#18||T. KATSUTA||D. BARRITT||Yaris WRC||None||3:18:33.1||+21.8|
|3||#8||O. TÄNAK||M. LAKE CARRIERS||i20 Coupé WRC||M||3:19:20.8||+1:09.5|
|4||#44||G. GREENSMITH||C. PATTERSON||Fiesta WRC||M||3:20:05.9||+1:54.6|
|5||#16||A. FORMS||R. JAMOUL||Fiesta WRC||M||3:19:56.0||10.0||+1:54.7|
|6||#69||K. ROVANPERÄ||J. HALTTUNEN||Yaris WRC||M||3:29:04.7||+10:53.4|
|7||#24||O. RAI||D. STURROCK||Polo Gti||WRC3||3:47:27.7||10.0||+29:26.4|
|8||#27||K. PATEL||T. KHAN||Fiesta||WRC3||3:51:01.7||40.0||+33:30.4|
|9||#25||C. TUNDO||T. JESSOP||Polo Gti||WRC3||3:54:52.0||+36:40.7|
|10||#33||E. EVANS||S. MARTIN||Yaris WRC||M||4:07:34.0||+49:22.7|
|11||#37||L. BERTELLI||S. SCATTOLIN||Fiesta WRC||None||4:08:28.3||+50:17.0|
|12||#6||D. SORDO||B. ROZADA||i20 Coupé WRC||M||4:08:10.8||13:20.0||+1:03:19.5|
|13||#39||J. CHANA||R. CHANA||Lancer Evo X||None||4:26:20.5||10.0||+1:08:19.2|
|14||#40||D. CHATTHE||H. FOURIE||Lancer Evo X||None||4:26:12.8||2:10.0||+1:10:11.5|
|15||#32||E. BENGI||P. MUTUMA||Lancer Evo X||None||4:28:15.5||1:40.0||+1:11:44.2|
|16||#64||J. WAHOME||V. OKUNDI||Fiesta ST Rally3||None||4:35:42.5||1:10.0||+1:18:41.2|
|17||#29||D. QUESTION||K. HELLER||Fiesta MK II||WRC3||4:37:20.4||+1:19:09.1|
|18||#31||B. CHAGER||R. SONI||Lancer Evo X||None||4:45:47.1||40.0||+1:28:15.8|
|19||#34||R. BHARIJ||J. GHATAURE||Lancer Evo X||None||4:48:32.7||10.0||+1:30:31.4|
|20||#30||A. RAI||G. PANESAR||Fabia Evo||None||4:54:20.3||10.0||+1:36:19.0|
|21||#52||N. SACHANIA||D. PATEL||Lancer Evo X||None||4:56:13.3||+1:38:02.0|
|22||#28||A. VIRANI||A. BHATTI||Fabia||WRC3||5:06:17.6||6:00.0||+1:54:06.3|
|23||#47||S. PUEE||A. DIN||Lancer Evo X||None||5:20:58.3||+2:02:47.0|
|24||#45||P. PANDYA||F. BHOJAK||Lancer Evo X||None||5:36:56.2||+2:18:44.9|
|25||#48||H. ANWAR||R. ISMAIL||Fiesta ST Rally3||None||5:40:07.3||2:20.0||+2:24:16.0|
|26||#67||R. SMITH||L. CLIFF||Fiesta||None||5:50:54.0||+2:32:42.7|
WRC general classification
- Sébastien OGIER (Toyota-FRA), 133 points
- EVANS Element (Toyota-GBR), 99 poundsos
- Thierry NEUVILLE (Hyundai-BEL), 77 puntos
- Ott TODAY (Hyundai-EST), 69 pounds
- Takamoto KATSUTA (Toyota-JAP), 66 puntos
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