Despite having only won the PS 8 on the third day of the battle, Thierry Neuville has taken off and, barring twists and turns, tomorrow will be able to celebrate the victory in the first Safari of the modern era. And never mind if on the way he met zebras and giraffes, this Saturday the Hyundai driver seemed to be from another planet. Combative and at ease in the cockpit, he was not afraid to push hard to avoid the comeback of Sébastien Ogier, third at 1’15 “, as well as the best in SS 9,10 and 11, perceived as more dangerous than the other driver Toyota Takamoto Katsuta, if only for a general classification speech.
Fourth at 2’21 was the Hyundai of Ott Tänak, author of the scratch in PS 12 and subsequently slowed down by a violent storm that caught him off guard in stage 13, made more complicated for him by a problem with the wipers. Behind the Estonian Gus Greensmith in a Ford Fiesta, then at 2’51 the other Fiesta of Adrien Fourmaux, struggling in the PS10 with dust in the cockpit that prevented him from seeing properly.
Seventh at 11’04 Kalle Rovanper on Toyota, who returned with the Super Rally formula, then Onkar Rai on Volkswagen Polo Gti R5, leader among the WRC3, Karan Patel on Fiesta R5 and Carl Tundo on Polo Gti R5.
Eleventh at 49 “16 was the Italian Lorenzo Bertelli, in trouble in Friday’s stage due to a fault with the water pump of his Fiesta WRC, preceding two other drivers who ended up knocked out yesterday, namely Elfyn Evans on Yaris and Dani Sordo on i20, very fast in SP 13.
Rally Safari rankings after SS 13:
1 Neuville Thierry / Wydaeghe M. Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
2 Katsuta T. / Barritt Daniel Toyota Yaris WRC +00: 57.4
3 Ogier S. / Ingrassia J. Toyota Yaris WRC +01: 15.5
4 Tänak Ott / Järveoja M. Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +02: 21.2
5 Greensmith Gus / Patterson Chris Ford Fiesta WRC +02: 39.4
6 Fourmaux Adrien / Jamoul Renaud Ford Fiesta WRC +02: 51.4
7 Rovanperä K. / Halttunen Jonne Toyota Yaris WRC +11: 04.3
8 Rai Onkar / Sturrock Drew Volkswagen Polo Gti R5 +25: 49.1
9 Patel Karan / Khan Tauseef Ford Fiesta R5 +31: 01.8
10 Tundo Carl / Jessop Timothy Volkswagen Polo Gti R5 +33: 26.0