Sébastien Ogier (Toyota) won his fourth victory of the season this Saturday in Kenya, after a weekend of twists which saw the wide leader Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) give up at the start of the last day. The French driver is more than ever at the head of the world championship.
SS18 (Hell’s Gate 1, 10.56km): Ogier’s final victory!
It’s good for Sébastien Ogier! In the lead since the penultimate special, the French driver did not take ill-considered risks during the Power Stage, won by Ott Tänak, and finally won with nearly 22 seconds ahead of his teammate Takamoto. Katsuda to win Rally Kenya, which was back on the calendar this season. “It has been a great experience to be here. The support from the people was incredible. There were a lot of people to cheer us on. It’s a great victory for us. After our problems on Friday (he lost more than a minute and a half during SS4, editor’s note), we really had a good weekend. We had a good pace and the car was great. Today I would also like to congratulate Taka. He did a great job, well done! It wasn’t that easy to catch up with him at the end. It’s a great result for the team. The rally may have been shorter than it was back then, but the challenge was still difficult. We appreciated “, rejoiced Ogier, who thus signs his fourth victory of the season and the 53rd of his career.
Thanks to this success, the reigning world champion accentuates his lead at the top of the championship, now with 34 points more than his teammate Elfyn Evans (who quickly found himself out of the race in Kenya) and 56 over Thierry Neuville, the big bad luck of the day. Toyota also made the good operation of the weekend, with now 59 points ahead of Hyundai. Next meeting: in Estonia from July 15th to 18th!
✨ #SafariRallyKenya winners! ?????#WRC @wrcsafarirally @TGR_WRC pic.twitter.com/bLIGTn7jDp
– Sébastien Ogier (@SebOgier) June 27, 2021
SS17 (Loldia 2, 11.33km): Ogier takes the lead!
It was predictable, it’s now official. Sébastien Ogier took the lead of the Kenya rally on his own, winning the penultimate special. While he was tied with his teammate Takamoto Katsuda, the Toyoya pilot was ahead of him by more than eight seconds during this SS17, and therefore headed for the final victory, while only 10.5km remained. of the Power Stage to be played. France was in the spotlight during this special, since it was Adrien Fourmaux who took second place, 3 ″ 8 behind his compatriot. The 26-year-old remains fourth in the overall standings, which would be the best result of his career. The pilots did not express themselves at the end of this special. The Power Stage will start at 12:18 pm.
SS16 (Malewa, 9.71km): Ogier and Katsuta tied!
Huge suspense at the Kenya rally! The two Toyota drivers Takamoto Katsuta and Sébastien Ogier are now tied with two stages remaining! Ogier, who was eight tenths behind the Japanese before this SS16, finished third in the special, with… eight tenths ahead of the Japanese. They therefore now have the same time of 3:04:21:04. “On that one, we just had to survive. It was extremely rough, I tried to save the car. The Power Stage is going to be complicated, because it’s very rough, ”Ogier reacted at the finish line. It was his compatriot Adrien Fourmaux who won the very first special of his career, on his Ford, which allowed him to climb to fourth place in the general classification.
SS15 (Hell’s Gate 1, 5.63km): Neuville gives up, Katsuta leader by eight tenths!
Black Sunday for Thierry Neuville! The Belgian driver failed to repair his right rear suspension between the two stages and was forced to retire. After finishing third in four out of five rallies this year, the Hyundai driver will lose big this weekend. It was Elfyn Evans who ultimately won this SS15 shortened by five kilometers. But it is Takamoto Katsuta who is the new leader, for the very first time in his career, after finishing fourth in the special. He is now… eight tenths ahead of his teammate Sébastien Ogier, third in SS15 and now big favorite for the final victory. “The plan today was to fight for second place. Now that Thierry is out of the race, I will fight for the victory. The conditions weren’t really good during this special, ”reacted Ogier, who is 1’12 ahead of third-placed Ott Tänak. There are still three specials to go.
SS14 (Loldia 1, 11.33km): Neuville loses a minute!
Thunderclap during the first special of the last day of the Kenya rally! Large leader on Saturday evening, with 57 seconds ahead of Takamoto Katsuta and 1’15 over Sébastien Ogier, Thierry Neuville lost 46 seconds over the Japanese and 59 over the French, winner of this SS14. The Belgian driver experienced a suspension problem at the rear right and had to idle throughout the special, to finish it in eleventh position. A disaster for Neuville, who did not speak at the finish, and who has only 12 seconds ahead of Katsuta and 16 over Ogier. Will he be able to repair before the next stage? “I have to push to try to fight for second place, said Ogier on arrival. It wasn’t a perfect stage, I made a mistake in a corner, but you have to keep trying ”. However, it is no longer for the second place that he will be able to fight, but for the first!
RALLYE – WRC / KENYA
Final classification after 18 specials – Sunday June 27, 2021
1- Sébastien Ogier – Julien Ingrassia (FRA / Toyota) in 3h18’11 ″ 3
2- Takamoto Katsuta – Daniel Barritt (JAP-GBR / Toyota) à 21 ″ 8
3- Ott Tänak – Martin Järveoja (EST-EST / Hyundai) à 1’19 ″ 5
4- Adrien Fourmaux – Renaud Jamoul (FRA-BEL / Ford) at 1’44 ″ 7
5- Gus Greensmith – Chris Patterson (GBR-GBR/Ford) à 1’54″6
Ogier: 7 (ES1, ES7, ES9, ES10, ES11, ES14, ES17)
Neuville: 4 (ES2, ES3, ES6, ES8)
Rovanperä: 2 (ES4, ES5)
Katsuta: 1 (ES7)
Today: 2 (ES12, ES18)
Deaf: 1 (ES13)
Evans : 1 (ES15)
Fourmaux: 1 (SS16)