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Kalle Rovanpera The Fastest On WRC Safari Rally Shakedown

Safari Rally favorite Kalle Rovanperä headed the times on the pre-event shakedown stage, edging title-chasing Thierry Nauvelle by five-tenths of a second.

The Finnish driver was fastest through the 5.41km mixed surface Loldia stage by 0.2sec in his Toyota Yaris. Neuville’s Hyudai was 1.3sec ahead of Sebastien Loeb.

Rally Italy winner Ott Tänak was fourth fastest while last year’s Safari winner Sébastien Ogier was fifth in his Toyota Yaris

Speaking after the shakedown, Rovampera sounded cautious and went on to predict a tougher rally than it was last season.

“It seems that this year the rally will be even tougher,” Rovampera. “I was not expecting such rough conditions like we saw on the recce and the roads are even more soft than last year.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“I think, in some places, it might be good to be the first car on the road here. Of course, we will have some cleaning in some sections, but that is not the biggest place where you can lose time here. [/perfectpullquote]

“We had rain on one stage in the recce, but the road didn’t really get wet for us. Everybody says that [if it rains] it’s extremely slippery, and I have seen some onboards. It’s crazy when it gets wet, so I don’t really know what to expect,” he added.

The WRC Safari Rally kicks off on Thursday at 12.47pm from the KICC where President Uhuru Kenyatta will flag off the cars.

Cars will then head for the Kasarani Special Stage where the first car will be flagged off at 2.08pm before heading to Naivasha.

WRC Safari Rally Shakedown Results:

Pos Driver Car Time
1. Kalle ROVANPERÄ Toyota GR Yaris 3min 42.1sec
2. Thierry NEUVILLE Hyundai i20 N +0.5sec
3. Sébastien LOEB Ford Puma +1.8sec
4. Ott TÄNAK Hyundai i20 N +1.8sec
5. Sébastien OGIER Toyota GR Yaris +2.2sec
6 Takamoto KATSUTA Toyota GR Yaris +4.0sec
7. Elfyn EVANS Toyota GR Yaris +4.6sec
8. Gus GREENSMITH Ford Puma +4.6sec
9. Adrien FOURMAUX Ford Puma +4.8sec
10. Craig BREEN Ford Puma +5.6sec



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