Monday 24th of June 2024

Nairobi, Kenya

FIA WRC: World Rally Championship, Safari Rally Kenya 2022

With its difficult confined dirt roads, breathtaking picture-postcard landscape, and exotic animals, the classic Safari Rally has developed to meet the current WRC.
Competitors should be prepared for rugged, rutted terrain as well as unpredictably changing weather that could turn dry, dusty routes into sticky mud pits.

Given that the Safari Rally Kenya is considered to be the toughest rally in the world, Kalle Rovanperä said that winning his first WRC race was satisfying. .

The 21-year-old FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) leader outperformed his father Harri by one position when he clinched victory on the second run of Hell’s Gate, the competition’s Wolf Power Stage.

On the final WRC Safari before the Kenyan round was eliminated from the WRC schedule, Kalle’s father, Hari, was defeated by the late Colin McRae to win the coveted title in 2002.

But 20 years later, Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Kalle, who drove Elfyn Evans, Takamoto Kastuta, and Sebastien Ogier to the top four spot, attested to his family’s shenanigans while racing on the challenging Naivasha gravel.

“This rally is incredibly challenging and well-known around the world. Rovanperä stated, “Considering the terrain you have to master, it’s incredibly wonderful to win this event. I have to admit, this was the hardest rally I have ever done, and we just have to thank the team. It is evidently the strongest and quickest car because all four of them functioned without any problems. The team worked incredibly hard. ”

Due to his unstoppable form over the race weekend, Kalle improved his title chances with a commanding victory in Kenya. In Friday’s last speed test, the Flying Finn passed his Gazoo colleague Sébastien Ogier, who had to stop to change a wheel.

“Compared to last year, the event was significantly tougher. Since we had already done it once the previous year, it was challenging to truly know what to do next. We anticipated it would be fairly challenging, so I’m relieved to have finished,”

Toyota increased their lead in the manufacturers’ championship by 62 points, giving Kalle a 65-point margin over the summit.

Takamoto Katsuta, who finished second last year, secured back-to-back Safari podiums after edging out second-placed Elfyn by 49.9 seconds.

With Ogier in back, the Japanese driver maintained a close check on his mirrors and finished 27.6 seconds ahead of the eight-time world champion.

Sebastien Ogier, the winner of the Safari race from the previous year, finished fourth and felt conflicted afterwards.

On Friday, Ogier encountered tyre gremlins, ending any opportunity he had to successfully defend his title. When some of the fesh-fesh sand from Naivasha got into the car’s engine on Saturday, Seb lost further time.

Additionally, the eagerly anticipated race against fellow countryman Sébastien Loeb never happened because the nine-time world champion retired his M-Sport Ford Puma on Friday due to engine problems. .

Ogier was content to score more important points for Toyota during his part-time campaign, though. The team last held all four of the top spots in Kenya in 1993.



1. Kalle Rovanperä – Jonne Halttunen (FIN/Toyota) 3hr 40min 24.9sec 2. Elfyn Evans – Scott Martin (GBR/Toyota) at 52.8sec
3. Takamoto Katsuta – Aaron Johnston (JPN-IRL/Toyota) 1min 42.7sec 4. Sébastien Ogier – Benjamin Veillas (FRA/Toyota) 2:10.3

5. Thierry Neuville – Martijn Wydaeghe (BEL/Hyundai) 10:40.9
6. Craig Breen – Paul Nagle (IRL/M-Sport Ford) 23:27.9
7. Jourdan Serderidis – Frédéric Miclotte (GRE-BEL/Ford) 30:16.5 8. Sébastien Loeb – Isabelle Galmiche (FRA/M-Sport Ford) 32:12.6 9. Kajetan Kajetanowicz – Maciej Szczepaniak (POL/Skoda) 35:37.6 10. Oliver Solberg – Elliot Edmondson (SWE-GBR/Hyundai) 37:36.6

Special stage winners:

Ogier (SS1, SS5, SS6, SS13)
Rovanpera (SS3, SS4, SS7, SS12, SS15) Neuville (SS9, SS10, SS19)
Evans (SS8, SS11)
Loeb (SS2, SS17, SS18)
Tänak (SS16)
*SS14 cancelled
Main retirements: Ott Tänak (Hyundai) World championship standings:
1. Kalle Rovanpera (FIN/Toyota) 145 pts 2. Thierry Neuville (BEL/Hyundai) 80
3. Ott Tanak (EST/Hyundai) 62 Takamoto Katsuta (JPN/Toyota) 62
5. Craig Breen (IRL/Ford) 60
6. Elfyn Evans (GBR/Toyota) 57
7. Sébastien Loeb (FRA/Ford) 35
8. Sébastien Ogier (FRA/Toyota) 34

9. Dani Sordo (ESP/Hyundai) 34 10. Gus Greensmith (GBR/Ford) 28

Constructors standings:

1. Toyota 246 pts
2. Hyundai 184
3. M-Sport/Ford 144

Winners in 2022:

Monte-Carlo: Loeb
Sweden: Rovanpera
Croatia: Rovanpera Portugal: Rovanpera Sardinia: Tanak
Kenya: Rovanpera
Next rally: Estonia July 14-17

2022 World Rally Championship

With the introduction of the hybrid-based Rally1 category, the FIA World Rally Championship will reach 50 in 2022 and enter a new, thrilling, and sustainable age.

Rally1 is a ground-breaking innovation created by the FIA departments in collaboration with Hyundai, M-Sport (Ford), and Toyota, three rival automakers.

Together, they teamed up to produce a category that maintains outstanding performance, substantially improves safety, and strongly emphasizes the environment. Rally1 cars use 100% fossil-free fuel in addition to the hybrid unit, which is coupled to the current 1.6-liter turbocharged internal combustion engine.

The hybrid system may increase total performance levels to more than 500hp and comes with a 100kW electric motor attached to a 3.9kWh battery.

Rally1 vehicles, on the other hand, are specifically made to exclusively operate in electric mode, which is what they must do in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) zones that are adjacent to the event service parks.
A long-term contract between Pirelli and the FIA keeps Pirelli as the WRC’s sole tire supplier.

Put safety first

The FIA has added a variety of safety measures with the introduction of hybrid technology in the WRC, such as mandating that the hybrid components be housed in a strengthened safety structure.

A 50% reduction in accident incursion is possible because to the enhanced safety cell chassis, the product of months of intense research and development.

Due to the high-voltage electrical current that accidents can produce, a social media awareness campaign emphasizes the safety measures that spectators and safety personnel must follow. Rally1 vehicles can be recognized by the letter “HY” on the side door panels, safety lights on the windshield, and green side pillars, which indicate that the vehicle is safe to touch. A car is dangerous to touch if it has a flashing red light and an auditory warning.

All Rally1 vehicles must contain two pairs of Class-0 gloves that can resist 1000 volts and are simple for the driver and co-driver to obtain when exiting the vehicle.

This makes it possible for both crew members to offer helpful support in the event that a high voltage problem affects either their car or the car of a rival. Volunteer authorities and crews have both gotten crucial training.

#WRC #SafariRallyKenya #WRCLive #WorldRallyChampionship

Content courtesy of WRC, Safari Rally & NFH