Neuville survives in the rain, Ogier returns to Kenya

The weather conditions disrupted the end of a day which had until then been very calm.

Published on 26/06/2021 à 17:15

Gonzalo Forbes

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Neuville survives in the rain, Ogier returns to Kenya

Thierry Neuville is still leader before the last day. ©DPPI/F. Flemish

This is what we call getting a good scare. As the day was about to end peacefully, Mother Nature decided otherwise.

Darker and darker, the sky finally released its first drops as Dani Sordo (Hyundai) was hurtling down the SS13 road at full speed. Increasing in intensity, the rain finally trapped the last part of the competitors.

If some like Gus Greensmith (M-Sport) lost a good handful of seconds, without too much consequence, others, likeOtt Tänak (Hyundai), went through hell.

« I didn't see anything », chanted the Estonian when he was questioned about the two minutes he had just let slip away. The reason ? The rain of course but also a broken left windshield wiper according to the main person concerned who had to stop in the middle of the special to wipe his windshield. At the finish line, the result is clear: 2'06"8 dropped in the 31,04 kilometers of the "Sleeping Warriors" special.

A boon which clearly benefited Sébastien Ogier (Toyota). Also jostled by the vagaries of the sky, the Frenchman fared better than his Baltic counterpart. If he finished 24" behind Dani Sordo, author of the scratch, the Gapençais took 6rd place overall from Ott Tänak.

Back in the Top 3, Sébastien Ogier is now just over 18 seconds behind Takamoto Katsuta (Toyota). Garage neighbors, it would not be surprising if the two men as well as the team directors had a little discussion this Saturday evening concerning the last five stages of the weekend. Playing for the title, the Habs could benefit from a boost from the Japanese.

Caught in the storm, Thierry Neuville (Hyundai) was also unable to fight for the stage victory. Angry at the finish, the Belgian must have been relieved to see that his runner-up Takamoto Katsuta lost more than 20 seconds on him overall, going from 35 to 57 seconds behind. Enough to spend a quieter night, especially since a team order at Toyota could help this Sunday.

General classification after SS13

The resumption of competition in Kenya is scheduled for 6:26 a.m. this Sunday. Five stages are on the program for the final day of racing. All 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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