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Sebastien Ogier wins WRC Safari Rally

Sebastien Ogier (left) and his navigator Julien Ingrassia celebrate their win during the award ceremony of the WRC Safari Rally in Naivasha on June 27,2021

Frenchman Sebastien Ogier is the World Rally Championship (WRC) Safari Rally champion.

A steady approach from the Frenchman here on the Wolf power stage is all he needed to confirm a historical win.

He made a superb comeback after nursing a damaged rear damper on the opening day. Ogier refused to give up, and the hard work has paid off.

“It’s been an amazing experience to be here. The support we got from the people here is incredible. There was a huge amount of people cheering for us on road sections.

“It’s a great win for us. After our troubles on Friday, we had a really good weekend. We had really good pace and the car was amazing,” noted Ogier.

“Today I also want to congratulate Taka. He has made an amazing job, so well done Taka. It was not that easy to catch him at the end now. A great result for the team.

“It might be a bit shorter than old days, but the challenge is still very tough. We enjoyed it.”

“It’s feeling very good. It has been a very long weekend. Okay, everybody had some problems, but we survived and that’s why we are here,” said Katsuta. “I am very happy with the team and the car, so thanks to them.”

Japanese driver Takamoto Katsuta steers his Toyota Yaris at Malewa SS16 stage
Japanese driver Takamoto Katsuta steers his Toyota Yaris WRC with British co-driver Daniel Barritt during the SS16 stage of the 2021 Safari Rally Kenya at Malewa, Naivasha on June 27, 2021.

“This rally, my approach was like 50 to 60 per cent maximum, not do any mistakes and be as smooth as possible. It’s a shame Thierry couldn’t work it out. Let’s see – now we go back to Estonia, so it should be fun,” said Tanak.

The Frenchman Adrien Fourmax ended fourth this weekend, and even took his maiden stage win earlier in the day.

“It’s good. I have to say thanks to all the team for this opportunity and also to Malcolm who is watching us. It was a perfect weekend – the car was perfect without any issues,” said Fourmax.

French driver Adrien Fourmax, steers his Ford Fiesta during the SS14 stage
French driver Adrien Fourmax, steers his Ford Fiesta during the SS14 stage of the 2021 Safari Rally Kenya in Loldia, Naivasha on June 27, 2021.

“I tried to drive smart and try and find the grip. It’s been a pretty good weekend all-round, but let’s see,” said Greensmith.

There were no heroics from local star Onkar Rai in the final stage as he cruised to the end to confirm an emotional victory in WRC3. Onkar dedicated the win to his brother Tejveer, who crashed on Friday.

“It’s amazing. I hope he is watching, this is for him. It was a really hard drive and I am really happy that we have got the rally back,” said Onkar.

Kenya’ Onkar Rai navigated by Drew Sturrock steers his Volkswagen Polo during the SS15 stage
Kenya’ Onkar Rai navigated by Drew Sturrock steers his Volkswagen Polo during the SS15 stage of the 2021 Safari Rally Kenya at Hell’s Gate, Naivasha on June 27, 2021.

“It was not really a good weekend for us. We had problems on the first day and lost all our possibilities there. After that, Ott and Thierry still had possibilities to take some points, but it was not like this,” he said. “It’s rallying. We are having a really bad period for the team, but this will change and we will come stronger.”

Spanish driver Dani Sordo steers his Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC with Spanish co-driver Borja Rozada
Spanish driver Dani Sordo steers his Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC with Spanish co-driver Borja Rozada during the SS15 stage of the 2021 Safari Rally Kenya at Hell’s Gate, Naivasha on June 27, 2021.

Sila Kiplagat | Nation Media Group
Lorenzo Bertelli made his WRC return here in Kenya. He was disappointed to retire with a water leak on Friday, but has enjoyed the experience overall.

“It’s been a lesson – an incredible experience and an incredible place. A bit disappointed for the problem with the car on Friday, but we are happy to be here. It’s been an amazing weekend,” said Bertelli.

STAGE FLASH

Date: Sunday, June 27th
Day: 3 Flash N°: 18
Special stage: Hell’s Gate 2 (Wolf Power Stage) Distance: 10.56 km
Weather: Warm and overcast
Road conditions: Dry and dusty

Four-minute intervals and five-minute gaps for the top three World Rally Cars.

Car 1. OGIER/INGRASSIA
“One out of one is not so bad. We had amazing support from the people. It has been
incredible. The people have been cheering for us. It is a beautiful country. It is a great win
for us. After the trouble on Friday we had a good weekend. Well done also to Taka. It was
not easy to catch him. It was a great result for the team.

Car 33. EVANS/MARTIN
“Obviously we wanted the points. In places we were losing time, going a bit wide. It’s so
difficult to judge. We gave it a go.”

Car 8. TÄNAK/JÄRVEOJA
“This rally my approach was 50-60% max to not make so many mistakes and be as
smooth as possible. My aim was to have no trouble on this rally. Let’s see now when we
go to Estonia. It should be more fun.”

Andrea Adamo – team principal of the Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team
“This is the third rally in a row where we have a problem. The car has the same
specification as we finished last year with Turkey and Sardinia. It means that we are doing
something wrong. I am not looking for excuses. We need to find what we are doing wrong.
We have the same parts as we were using last year. I am not an engineer but we have to
find solutions.”

Car 69. ROVANPERÄ/HALTTUNEN
“I think with the tyres it was not so bad. It was slippery with the hard. It was a difficult
weekend. It was not the way I wanted to spend the weekend. But a big job from the team.
They kept the car going. Thanks to them.”

Car 18. KATSUTA/BARRITT
“That’s good. It’s feeling very good. It has been a very long weekend. Everybody had
some problems but we survived. I am very happy for the team.”

Car 6. SORDO/ROZADA
“It was not a really good weekend for us. We had the problems on Thursday and we lost
all our possibilities there. Still, Ott and Thierry had chances but it was not like this. Now
we have a really bad period for the team but we will come back stronger.”

Car 44. GREENSMITH/PATTERSON
“I tried to drive smart and stay out of the lines and find the grip. It has been a pretty good
weekend all round.”

Car 16. FOURMAUX/JAMOUL
Right rear tyre off the rim. “To be honest thanks to all the team at M–Sport for the
opportunity and to Malcolm (Wilson), who is watching us. The car was perfect and we had
no issue. Maybe I have to push more if I come back next year. It’s my second WRC rally
on gravel and I had my first stage win.”

Car 37. BERTELLI/SCATTOLIN
“It has been a lesson, an incredible experience. A bit disappointed with the problem on the
car on Friday but we are happy to be here. It has been an amazing weekend.”

Car 24. RAI/STURROCK
WRC3 winner. “It’s amazing. I hope he’s watching (my brother). It was a really hard drive
and I am so happy that Kenya has got it back.”

Car 27. PATEL/KHAN
Second in WRC3. “It’s been quite tough for both of us and for the team. We are really
thankful for the position we finished in. We are really happy that the WRC is back in our
home town.”

Car 25. TUNDO/JESSOP
Third in WRC3. “A lot of challenges on this rally and a lot of problems on Friday. If we had
been a bit more sensible we would have been a bit further up. But it’s the WRC – top 10.” – nation.co.ke