Kalle Rovanperä convincingly won the Kenya Safari Rally 2022.
On the last day of the race on the African continent, Rovanperä K. / Halttunen Jonne (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) not only managed to keep their lead of 40 seconds, but also added another 12 seconds to finish first with a lead of 52.8 seconds ahead of Evans Elfyn / Martin Scott (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1).
This is an incredible victory for the Toyota team, as their dominance occupies not only the podium, but even the fourth place.
Third were Katsuta T. / Johnston Aaron (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) at 1:42.7, and fourth were Ogier S. / Veillas B. (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) at 2:10.3.
Long back in time, Neuville T. / Wydaeghe M. (Hyundai i20 N Rally1) is more than 10 minutes behind, but still 5th in the final standings. However, Neuville managed to take the victory in the Power Stage.
Loeb Sébastien / Galmiche I. (Ford Puma Rally1) after a series of problems and flat tires remained 8th in 32 minutes behind.
Expected first in RC2 are Kajetanowicz K. / Szczepaniak M. (Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo).
The Kenya Safari Rally will be remembered as the most dusty race with a lot of fashion and tracks.
Safari Rally Kenya is the 6th race in a row in the championship, and until the end of the season there are 7 more races, the next one being Rally Estonia on July 14-17.
With his victory in Kenya, Kalle Rovanperä has established himself as the sole leader in the championship with a huge difference from the competition and is moving very confidently to win the championship this year.
In the first 6 sections of the 2022 Kenya Safari Rally, Sebastien Ogier led the column. But in the last stage of Friday, a flat tire threw Ogier out of the fight for the leadership position. At the same last stage of the day, Thierre Neuville also had a flat tire. Neuville had previously complained of power loss. Thus, from the first place, Ogier dropped to 6th place, and Neuville managed to finish without wasting much time.
In the early stages of the battle between the two Frenchmen Loeb and Ogier in the tenth.
Ott Tanak had problems with the gearbox and that took him out of the fight for the podium.
The pilots complained of large tracks, lots of dust and large stones.
It was the big dust that made Sebastien Loeb turn and lose direction. Then electrical problems threw Loeb out of the race.
Thus, at the end of the day, Kalle Rovanperä took the lead without any serious problems.
Quite a surprising second place for Katsuta T. / Johnston Aaron (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1).
Today, Evans Elfyn / Martin Scott (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) moved to second place at a fairly steady pace.
At the end of Saturday, the day before the end of the Kenya Safari Rally, Rovanperä K. / Halttunen Jonne (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) led with a comfortable lead of 40.3 seconds over Evans Elfyn / Martin Scott (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1). Third place went to Katsuta T. / Johnston Aaron (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) at 1: 15.6, and to fourth place after the problems with a flat tire were Ogier S. / Veillas B. (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1).
The four crews will determine the podium tomorrow, Sunday, June 26.
First in RC2 are the Poles Kajetanowicz K. / Szczepaniak M. (Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo), who have a huge lead and are sure to be the favorites to win in RC2.
Despite the easy start and the accumulation of over a minute lead on the first day Rovanperä K. / Halttunen Jonne (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) won quite hard Rally Croatia 2022.
Only 4.3 seconds left Rovanperä's lead in the final, pressed hard by Tänak Ott / Järveoja M. (Hyundai i20 N Rally1), who made an impressive second and third day.
Tanak led in the penultimate stage, but in the last Power Stage lost the lead. Neuville T. / Wydaeghe M. (Hyundai i20 N Rally1) finished third at 2: 21.0 and with a huge total of 2 minutes. Thierry Neuville has been handed an additional one minute penalty for ‘multiple severe speeding infringements’ during Friday’s opening leg of the Croatia Rally.
Neuville had engine problems and was losing power.
Breen Craig / Nagle Paul (Ford Puma Rally1) remained in fourth place 3: 07.3, and fifth were Evans Elfyn / Martin Scott (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1), after which the differences became very large.
The drama for Rovanperä came in stage number 11 Platak 1, where he lost 54 seconds due to a flat tire.
At the end of the second day, Rovanperä's lead was 20 seconds ahead of Ott Tanak. Already in the first stage on Sunday, Rovanperä's lead increased to 31 seconds.
In the penultimate stage, Rovanperä lost half a minute due to its choice of tires, but in the last stage the conditions were still suitable for Rovanperä tires and difficult, but still regained the leading position, which won the difficult Rally Croatia 2022.
Rossel Yohan / Sarreaud V. (Citroën C3 Rally2) finished first in RC2, seventh in the general, followed by Kajetanowicz K. / Szczepaniak M. (Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo) with a minute behind and second in RC2.
The next race is Rally Portugal on May 19-22.