Loeb fastest, Rovanperä one stage from Safari win

Kalle Rovanperä is one stage away from a maiden Safari Rally Kenya victory


Kalle Rovanperä leads Safari Rally Kenya with just one stage to go as Sébastien Loeb won his second stage in succession.

With large gaps between all the crews and therefore nothing to gain by hanging it all on the line, most drivers have backed off on Sunday’s final loop.

Loeb, running in ninth overall following his fire-induced retirement on Friday, has kept a decent rhythm though and edged Sébastien Ogier to the Narasha stage win by 2.4 seconds.

Ogier is fourth overall, tucked in behind all three of his Toyota stablemates as the marque looks to secure a momentous 1-2-3-4 finish.

World championship leader Rovanperä heads the quartet and holds a 57.6s advantage over Elfyn Evans ahead of the points-paying powerstage.


Takamoto Katsuta remains third – on course for his second Safari podium in as many years – and was also third fastest on the penultimate stage of the event.

Rovanperä meanwhile was only sixth quickest, behind M-Sport’s Gus Greensmith and Evans’ similar GR Yaris Rally1.

Thierry Neuville’s pace was weaker than it had been on previous stages, but that’s likely in a bid to save tires for the powerstage. The Hyundai pilot bravely took just one spare in the trunk of his car while all of his rivals remaining in the rally took two.

Oliver Solberg absolutely crawled through the stage with heavily restricted power aboard his Hyundai, setting a time 5m55s slower than Loeb’s stage-winning effort after pulling over to let WRC2 leader Kajetan Kajetanowicz past.