Ott Tänak has retired from Safari Rally Kenya for the second time as the power-steering on his Hyundai had failed.
Tänak had bowed out of Saturday’s action with a broken propshaft but restarted on Sunday, boldly choosing to take just one spare tire for the final loop in a bid to claim as many powerstage points as possible.
But Tänak, who won Rally Italy earlier this month, was denied that chance as power steering failure kicked in towards the end of the Oserian stage. He drove directly to service after the finish and retired his stricken Hyundai.
Team-mate Oliver Solberg had a bizarre stage where he had to get the assistance of roadside media personnel to clear his windshield as dust covered it and his wipers had failed.
He dropped 2m44.2s to Sébastien Loeb who went fastest.
Oserian had been canceled on the first pass due to Solberg’s stranded Hyundai blocking the stage, as his air filter had become clogged with dust.
With drivers concerned about what would happen through that section on a second pass, rally organizers shortened the stage by moving the start location 3.10km (1.92 miles) onto the stage, and that seemed to cure the problem.
“We removed the bad part of the stage, so it’s OK,” confirmed Adrien Fourmaux who opened the road and won the first pass.
But Fourmaux was pipped to fastest time the second time around, dropping 3.8s to his M-Sport team-mate Loeb.
Out front, Kalle Rovanperä’s lead stands at 1m02.3s over Elfyn Evans with Takamoto Katsuta and Sébastien Ogier protecting Toyota’s 1-2-3-4.
Craig Breen checked into SS17 late as he wanted a four-minute gap to the car in front instead of three.
But that wasn’t his primary concern once he got onto Oserian 2 as his pace, losing 57.2s to team-mate Loeb, was poor even considering the relaxed rhythm Breen has adopted.
It left the stage-end reporter wondering if there was a problem with his M-Sport Ford: “So am I, I can’t figure it out honestly,” responded Breen.
“Something very, very strange, I have no idea.”
Team-mate Gus Greensmith’s problems were perhaps graver as he has been suffering will illness throughout the morning.
“Been a bit ill this morning but still here, all OK so all good,” he said.
He had been less than two seconds behind Adrien Fourmaux, but Fourmaux outpaced Greensmith by 8.8s to extend his advantage to 10.4s.
Their battle isn’t for overall points, though, as they’re in 18th and 19th overall.