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Ogier Fastest In WRC Safari Rally Shakedown

Sebastian Ogier drew the first blood at the WRC Safari Rally by claiming the fastest time through Wednesday’s shakedown in his Toyota Yaris.

The Frenchman, driving for the first time in African soil, stopped the clocks 0.1 seconds up Toyota team-mate Elfyn Evans through the tough 5.15km Loldia test in Naivasha, Kenya.

Belgian Thierry Neuville was third in a Hyudai i20, 1.1 seconds down on the WRC champion Sebastien Ogier.

The sixth round of World Rally Championship marks the return of Safari Rally in for the first time since 2002.

Like all the frontline drivers, shakedown marked the first opportunity for Ogier to sample the sealed-surface roads in a competitive situation.

“It’s a massive challenge and we know we have a tough weekend ahead,” said Ogier. “The biggest challenge for me will be to find a nice rhythm but there are some parts where we can push. So far, so good.

“The recce went well and shakedown was quite representative so it gave us a chance to test a little bit and adjust the set-up for the rally. I feel ready, but are we really ready for this kind of rally? I’m not sure!”

Safari Rally will start on Friday with the ceremonial flag off by President Uhuru Kenyatta from the Kenyatta International Convention Centre featuring 59 crews.


The iconic championship is expected to be challenging as officials have laid on 18 special stages and 320.19 competitive kilometres to test the latest World Rally Cars and their teams to the limit.

WRC Safari Rally Shakedown Results:

1 Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Toyota) 3m42.6s
2 Elfyn Evans/Scott Martin (Toyota) +0.1s
3 Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai) +1.1s
4 Dani Sordo/Borja Rozada (Hyundai) +1.9s
5 Takamoto Katsuta/Daniel Barritt (Toyota) +3.0s
6 Gus Greensmith/Chris Patterson (M-Sport Ford) +3.1s
7 Kalle Rovanperä/Jonne Halttunen (Toyota) +3.5s
8 Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja (Hyundai) +4.6s
9 Adrien Fourmaux/Renaud Jamoul (M-Sport Ford) +7.4s
10 Oliver Solberg/Aaron Johnston (Hyundai) +13.3s

Photo Credit: Sebastein Ogier official Facebook page

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