Salem Radio Network News Wednesday, September 27, 2023


Rallying-Rovanpera wins Safari Rally in Toyota 1-2-3-4 finish

(Reuters) – Kalle Rovanpera won Kenya’s Safari Rally on Sunday, with the young Finn leading a Toyota sweep of the top four places to stretch his world championship lead to 65 points.

The last time Toyota managed a 1-2-3-4 finish was at the same event in 1993 won by Juha Kankkunen.

Welsh team mate Elfyn Evans finished second, 52.8 seconds behind the 21-year-old, with Japan’s Takamoto Katsuta third and eight-times world champion Sebastien Ogier fourth.

“I have to say, this was the hardest rally I have ever done,” said Rovanpera, who battled through mud and torrential rain on Saturday and took his fourth win in six rounds.

“To have four cars like this with no issues: it is clearly the strongest and fastest car. The team did a fantastic job.”

Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville, fifth in the rally and second in the championship, won the final ‘Hell’s Gate’ Power Stage for five bonus points.

Nine-times world champion Sebastien Loeb, competing in the Safari for the first time in 20 years, took four bonus points for Ford ahead of last year’s winner Ogier.

Toyota are 62 points clear of Hyundai after six of 13 rounds.

Sunday featured three stages, each run twice, on the southern edge of Lake Naivasha.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin in London, editing by Ed Osmond)


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