WRC Safari Phase 1: Ogier punctures, Rovanpera leads, Breen retires

The killings continue at the end of the first phase. After Seb Loeb and Adrien Fourmaux, Craig Brin was forced to retire, first a puncture victim then breaking a wheel with a large stone. Since the puncture of Berezina Gus Greensmith of the Ford M-Sport Group (Irishman over 13), it is Jordan Sardardis, a Greek amateur from Belgium (co-driver of our compatriot Fred Myklot), generally 11th, who is the first among the last to be punched despite the puncture. .

Led by Elphin Evans and Sebastian Ogier, it was Cale Rovanpera, the first on the road, to sign his third scratch and, to everyone’s surprise, lead the rally after his French teammate stabbed him 2’21. “What happened? Nothing, we drive with Pirelli tires.” Ironically the eight-time world champion is back in 6th place at 2.08.2. The Finnish leader now has a 22.4 lead over Elphin Evans and a 25.3 lead over Ott Tanak who, remember, lost a special 36 seconds in the first morning due to broken gear. Can

Takamoto Katsuta fell to 4th in 26.6 after losing about 30 seconds to Craig Brin’s dust and then fell slowly after closing the road. “The marshals have to fix my time or it won’t be right.” The Japanese (4th in 26.6) claimed that he could regain second place if his time was corrected.

Despite having a crazy wheel on the left in front of the 2nd time writer from scratch at 3.6, Thierry Neville returned to 5th at 57.5 when he lost all his power to an engine after swallowing too much sand on the SS4. We are saying again, in Safari, another weekend is coming, nothing will be lost for the podium. “In the end I couldn’t see anything because of the dust in the cockpit. The assembly is still long and I’m still fighting, however I have no choice.”

SS6: Ogier Point runs home, Katsuta is hanging, Fourmaux returns his notebook

Sébastien Ogier scratched his third in this sixth especially just four tenths ahead of his Japanese teammate Takamoto Katsutar. The first two finishes of the 2021 edition occupy the same position as a year ago and are separated by 8.6 for the moment. Cale Rovanpera is currently 12.9 at the bottom of the podium, 1.3 ahead of Elphin Evans.

Later, Sebastian Loeb abandoned the young Adrian Formax when Hyundai was powerless and Ford lost two of its Frenchmen. This is the fifth retirement in six races for the last dominance of Malcolm Wilson, who has nothing to rebuke himself at this time, the mechanics have betrayed him.

SS5: Scratch For Ogier to return to leadership, abandonment for Loeb, big concern for Formax

The bad news before the start of this fifth special is that with the confirmation of Sébastien Loeb’s retirement for communication after SS4, his Ford Puma engine has left the ghost. Nothing is going well for the M-Sport team which has lost three of the four chances on a podium in three stages with thirteen minutes given by Gus Greensmith and 4’10 again here with Adrian Formax visually losing with transmission problems. It is unlikely that the French can end the loop in this way.

At the front, leader Elfin Evans suffered a slow stabbing and lost about fifteen seconds, the best time and first place in the general category went to his teammate Sebastian Ogier. So the order has changed between the four leading Yaris, Ogir is now 8.2 ahead of Takamoto Katsutar. The other two are followed by 10.2 (Evans) and 10.4 (Rovanpera). The first non-Toyota is Ott Tanak’s Hyundai, fifth at 30.4, tenth ahead of Craig Brin’s surviving Puma. Thierry Newville ranks 7th in 1.03.4, which does not mean he has lost all hope of a podium on Safari.

“The engine is hard to fix, it makes the car behave strangely. We have to work on it,” he said. Our compatriot comments. His teammate Oliver Solberg confirmed: “There’s a problem. It’s not about the terrain, it’s not about me, there’s a problem with the car.”

SS4: Rovanpera still the fastest, Evans leads following Seb concerns, Neuville loses 54 seconds

Although it is only 31 kilometers, the longest stage of the safari has done some damage. Gus Greensmith lost more than 13 minutes there with a puncture tearing the entire right back of his puma, Oliver Solberg lost more than two and a half minutes while being lazy for the last kilometer after eating too much sand in one part. “Face-Face”. Hyundai Thierry left the same punishment for his teammate at Newville in the 54 second accident: “I’ve lost power. I don’t know why.” Comments Annoyed again on arrival in Belgium. Among Hyundai drivers, only Ott Tanak managed to limit the damage. But with three specials and three problems already in favor of Toyota in the Korean group, Four Years is now 8.5 ahead of Elphin Evans Sebastian Ogier. Cale Rovanpera was finally able to take advantage of his first position on the road to swallow less dust and finished 3rd overall, 11.1 one and three tenths ahead of Takamoto Katsutar. Sébastien Loeb also dropped to 5th place at 15.9 after having problems, but he remained first among Puma drivers: “I was lost in my own dust with a twist. I didn’t know where to go.“French national arrested after special …

Thierry Newville is now in 9th place, one minute behind Elfin Evans. The second loop will start at 12:09 pm

SS3: Fastest Rovanpera: “It’s Terrible”

The second special of the day, geothermal, short (11 km) and new to everyone. First on the road, young Cale Rovanpera sets the best time there. Her surprise: “Honestly, it was terrible because there’s a lot of dust.” Confirmed the championship leader.

Starting behind him, Thierry set the 7th time on Newville 5.1: “You can’t drive in this situation. I have no grip and I’m not confident.” The Belgian is down to 7th overall, 18.3 behind leader Sebastian Ogier, who is still 8th ahead of his teammates in the Toyota Elfin Evans. Sebastian Loeb is third in 1.9. “I felt like I lacked power, but it was probably related to height. It had to be the same for everyone,” he said. Puma pilot first secret.

Note this very good second time of Takamoto Katsuta.

SS2: R. Scratch For Loeb, however, Ogier remains the leader

Given a lot of sweeping in Kenya Safari’s first real special, a 19km stage isn’t too rough compared to what’s waiting for competitors in the following categories. Starting up front is therefore a stumbling block for Cale Rovanpera and Thierry Newville. The latter signs the 8th lap time, down about fifteen seconds: “I have problems with traction, but I also have problems with gear selection. It’s very stylish and I had to brake to avoid an animal on the road.” On arrival in Belgium he hid where he left traces of gear oil … let’s hope it’s not serious. His teammate Ott Tanak broke his gear lever and now has to change gears directly under control. Estonian best-time writer, veteran Sebastian Loeb gave 36 seconds. Twenty years after his last success here, the Frenchman returned to his Ford Puma with an element torn from the left back: “I was correcting a note and a sharp turn came a little faster. I hit a bush, but nothing serious happened.” Alsatian admitted, now third in the general classification, 1.3 behind his compatriot Sebastian Ogier, especially the third just half a second behind. Elfin Evans is inserted between the two champions of the legend, the Toyota driver points to the 9th of his teammate.

Fourmaux is good fourth, so we see two Yaris ahead of the three Fords and the first Hyundai in Thierry Newville, in sixth place. His teammates Oliver Solberg (I have a problem with my car) and Ott Tanak point to the back of the official WRC. Twelfth, Jourdan Serderidis has already conceded rates within a minute and a half.

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