Sebastien Ogier, the 2021 WRC Safari Rally champion, held a commanding lead after the first six stages of the second day of competition in Naivasha.
The Frenchman, navigated by Vincent Landais, led Toyota to 1, 2, and 3 finishes after completion of 7 out of the 19 stages, registering 1 hour, 14 minutes, and 38.7 seconds, 22 minutes and 8 seconds ahead of Kalle Rovanpera, and 43 minutes and 5 seconds ahead of Elfyn Evans.
“It’s been a good day. Except for the hybrid issue this morning, we had a perfect day, so we can be happy, said Ogier.
Ogier claimed victory in 4 out of Friday’s 6 stages, including Loldia 1 and 2, Geothermal 2, and Kedong 2, while Rovanperra and Esappeka Lappi shared each win at Geothermal 1 and Kendong 1, respectively.
“It was quite okay. Quite soft in places with really big holes and stones and stuff, proper Safari-spec. There are a lot of surprises, and it’s a high-speed stage, so it’s not easy.” said Rovanperra
Esapekka Lappi of the Hyundai SHELL Mobis World Rally Team from Finland finished a distant 4th, followed closely by Toyota’s Katsuta Takamoto.
However, It was a heartbreak for Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville, who was forced to pull out in stage 6 after damaging his front left suspension hitting a compression at the 8km mark.
Carl Tundo, navigated by Tim Jessop, competing in WRC 2 in a Skoda Fabia, is the best-ranked local driver after 7 stages in 13th place,followed by his team mate Akif Virani and his navigator AzhR Bhatti in 19th position.
The action will enter day 3 on Saturday with drivers starting at Soysambu 1 from 8am before proceeding to Elementaita 1 then concluding morning session with 31.04KM at Sleeping Warrior before repeating the 3 stages in the afternoon.
Catch Elementaita 1 and 2 action exclusively on KBC Channel 1 on Saturday.