The Safari Rally is officially back. In the early afternoon today the Shakedown took place on the track called Loldia, 5.40 kilometers long.
Sébastien Ogier set the absolute best time, able to stop the clock in 3’42 “6 and do better than his teammate Elfyn Evans by just 1 tenth of a second.
So Toyota on the shields, but both Ogier and Evans got their best times on the fourth and final attempt. Same goes for Thierry Neuville, first Hyundai motorsport driver in the general classification.
The Belgian is third, 1 “1 behind Ogier and 1” from Evans. Today’s route represented quite well the route that the riders will face in the coming days. Everyone has become aware of how much they have to be aware of in order to finish the race and hope to at least get on the podium.
Fourth place for the second Hyundai in the standings, the i20 Coupé WRC of Dani Sordo and Borja Rozada ahead of the Toyota Yaris WRC of Takamoto Katsuta and Daniel Barritt, who closed the Top 5.
Good signals from Gus Greensmith, sixth with the first Ford Fiesta of the M-Sport team. The Brit preceded Kalle Rovanpera’s Toyota Yaris and 2019 world champion Ott Tanak’s Hyundai i20.
Adrien Fourmaux is preparing to start the third rally of his career at the wheel of a WRC Plus car and will do so at the Safari. A great challenge for him, but it can help him grow. Meanwhile, today he took the ninth time ahead of the last World Rally Car in the standings, that of Lorenzo Bertelli.
Oliver Solberg went through a very difficult Shakedown. The Swede had to stop during the first lap for damaging the right front suspension. Oliver said he didn’t feel such a strong bump, but was forced to stop and miss a very important test stage to better understand the i20 Coupé.