Kenya notebook: The adventure begins

After the reconnaissance, the competitors of the Kenya Rally will get down to business this Thursday.

Published on 24/06/2021 à 08:06

Pierre Tassel

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Kenya notebook: The adventure begins

Thierry Neuville in action at shakedown. © DPPI / F. Flamand

While the sun is still shining in Naivasha in the Rift Valley, competitors in the 68th edition of Safari Rally Kenya finished their reconnaissance this Wednesday morning. Contrary to what is usually practiced in WRC, it was today and not Thursday that they then made several passages in the Loldia shakedown.

5,40 km long, the latter was traced to the northwest of the lake around which the majority of this round will take place. Very narrow in the undergrowth offering no margin for error or operating in the middle of a bumpy meadow, this final development session allowed the crews to get a first idea of ​​the selectivity of the chosen paths.

First to set off, Sébastien Ogier talked about “challenge » at the end of his time, while Thierry Neuville was delighted to participate in “such an adventure”.

Cautious during his first visit, Adrien fourmaux explained why. “ This promises to be very hard for the mechanics. Even though the test is much shorter than before, many things can happen. We need to think about adopting the right pace. »

Parti bien plus vite, Fergus Greensmith, son équipier chez M-Sport, se marrait en disant que ce shakedown était ce que le rally offers more " easy " ! After just a few kilometers the Safari claimed its first victim with Oliver Solberg unable to continue due to a broken suspension.

“I didn’t feel like I was typing anything” however, he assured. After four laps, Sébastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia achieved the best time of the afternoon.

 

 

At the end of the day, most of the players headed to Nairobi where the official start will be given in the presence of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, just before the Kasarani superspecial (4,84 km) which will start this Thursday at 13:08 p.m. ( French time).

The competitors will then return by road to Naivasha where they will set off on Friday morning for the rest of the 1st stage.

Dans le Parc d’assistance, loin de l’agitation européenne, l’ambiance est plus détendue et permet de constater à quel point les voitures diffèrent peu du reste de la saison. Chez Toyota, en apparence, seuls des cables en acier viennent barrer l’ouverture permettant d’alimenter en air (frais?) le radiateur, pour éviter qu’un animal ou autres ne viennent s’y fracasser.

Finally, the incessant wind from the great plains allows you to enjoy a temperature that is far from suffocating: 13° in the morning, 25° in the afternoon. Here too, Kenya 2021 breaks its legend.

Continued to our next episode…

 

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