First Loeb-Ogier rivalry in the plains of Kenya


The Safari Rallysixth trial of world is disputed between Thursday and Sunday in the plains of Kenya rift valley with the main attraction of the first rivalry in this race between the most successful pilots in history, the French sebastien loeb (Ford Cougar) at sebastien ogier (Toyota Yaris).

Nine -time champion Loeb and eight -time starter Ogier met for the third time this yearthis time in the most difficult test of a calendar where two drivers disputed partial programs. This was their first meeting in Kenya, since Loeb’s lone outing began in 2002.

Ogier was the Safari winner last year, when the Sub-Saharan rally returned to the World Championship after a 19-year loss. Loeb won this year in Monte Carlo, which opened the season.

“Winning in 2021 is the icing on the cake and it’s great to try to repeat it this year with a little bit of knowledge of what to expect from the stages,” Ogier said in statements broadcast by the World Cup.

“It’s a rally where you don’t give up, and this year, whose cars are still new, we may need to be smarter,” he added.

A Ogier accompany him in the cars GR Yaris is the leader of the championship, Finn Kalle Rövanperäas well as the British Elfyn Evanswho retired last year on the first day, and the 2021 runner-up, Japanese Takamoto Katsuta.

Rovanperä, leader in a state of grace

Rovanperä has shown incredible form so far in the season, with three wins from five starts. top the rankings with 55 pointsbut may be affected by the opening of gravel roads. Under similar circumstances, Finn could only manage fifth at the Rally Italia-Sardinia earlier this month.

Loeb is part of a five-car M-Sport Ford team. He was joined by Irishman Craig Breen, fourth in the World Championship, British Gus Greensmith and Frenchman Adrien Fourmaux.

Hyundai Motorsport’s Thierry Neuville of Belgium will be looking to make up for his bad experience last year in Kenya, as he led most of the rally before a rear suspension failure dashed his hopes.

Neuville will work with the winner Rally Italy-Sardiniathe Estonian Ott Tanakas well as in Swedish Oliver Solbergwhich replaces Spanish dani bingi in the third i20N of the group.

the president of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyattawill give the flag to competitors at the beginning of Nairobi Thursday at noon. Ahead are 19 difficult special stages around the lakes Naivasha and Elmenteitawhich will travel 363.44 km before arriving on Sunday afternoon at report.

Source: La Verdad


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