Luck turns in favor of Neuville in Kenya

While he had a good chance of losing the lead in the event, the Belgian was ultimately helped by the retirement of Kalle Rovanperä, his main competitor. A sign of destiny?

Published on 25/06/2021 à 16:34

Gonzalo Forbes

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Luck turns in favor of Neuville in Kenya

Thierry Neuville is still leading the Kenya Rally. ©DPPI/F. Flemish

In the space of a short moment, a rally can turn in favor of one pilot or another. This Friday, Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) witnessed this.

Leader before SS7, the last of the day, the Belgian suffered a double puncture, one on the left rear, the other on the right front. He then seemed cursed after his past disappointments in Portugal or in Sardinia more recently.

On the line, the driver of the South Korean manufacturer conceded almost 40 seconds on Sébastien Ogier (Toyota) but it was Kalle Rovanperä (Toyota) that he distrusted.

Just ten seconds behind Thierry Neuville before the final start this Friday, the Finn had the lead of the race served on a platter. But now, bad luck has this time struck the Japanese clan.

Just 900 meters after the start, Kalle Rovanperä plunged his Yaris into the savannah dirt as he attempted to pass over a hill. Assisted by the organizers, the 20-year-old driver was forced to end his day.

The intervention of a assistance car was necessary to extricate the Yaris buried in the ground

Thus, Thierry Neuville returned to the audience, still in the shoes of the leader, with the relief of having been spared bad luck this time.

The Belgian therefore leads the dance on the Kenyan side ahead of a surprising Takamoto Katsuta (Toyota) who took advantage of the puncture ofOtt Tänak (Hyundai) and the misfortunes of Kalle Rovanperä to climb to 2nd place. He is now 18”8 behind Thierry Neuville while Tänak remains in 3rd at 55”8.

General classification after SS7

Six new specials are on the program for Saturday and will be followed on Self.

Gonzalo Forbes

In charge of promotion formulas (F2, F3, FRECA, F4...). Carried by the grace of Franco Colapinto.

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