Kenya Rally: Neuville gets off to an ideal start

Kenya Rally: Neuville gets off to an ideal start

After having already distinguished himself during the shakedown, Thierry Neuville won the first special stage of the Kenya rally this Thursday. Behind the Belgian, we currently find Ott Tänak and Kalle Rovanperä.

Frustrated during two of the last three editions, Thierry Neuville seems to want to take his revenge during this Kenyan rally. Indeed, forced to abandon in 2021 and disqualified last June due to a violation of the regulations concerning reconnaissance, the Belgian started very strongly this year. After setting the best time in the shakedown on Wednesday (tied with reigning double world champion Kalle Rovanperä), the Hyundai driver this time dominated the only special on the day’s menu.

This Thursday, during this 4.84 kilometer super-special organized as a duel in Kasarani, the current leader of the drivers’ classification shone over this short distance by setting the best time. In the suburbs of Nairobi, the latter notably edged out the Estonian Ott Tänak (at 0”1) and the Finn Rovanperä (at 0”8), which allowed him to take the lead in the ranking before the three main days.

Neuville hopes to be spared this year

“It will be a difficult test. We’re keeping our fingers crossed that this time we can get through it without technical problems or errors. I think we are well prepared and I feel good in the car, so it’s always good to start a rally like this,” the Belgian driver subsequently reacted on the official WRC website. For his part, Frenchman Adrien Fourmaux (Ford M-Sport) finished this first special of the Kenya rally in 7th place, just over two seconds behind Neuville (2”2). Now, the serious things will begin this Friday with the 2nd special (from 6:30 a.m.).

Ranking at the end of SS1 (out of 19) – Thursday March 28, 2024
1- Thierry Neuville – Martijn Wydaeghe (BEL-BEL/Hyundai) and 3’19”9
2- Ott Tänak – Martin Järveoja (EST-EST/Hyundai) à 0”1
3- Kalle Rovanperä – Jonne Halttunen (FIN-FIN/Toyota) à 0”8
4- Takamoto Katsuta – Aaron Johnstone (JAP-IRL/Toyota) à 0”9
5- Esapekka Lappi – Janne Ferm (FIN-FIN/Hyundai) à 1”5

7- Adrien Fourmaux – Alexandre Coria (FRA-FRA/Ford M-Sport) at 2”2

Special stage winners
Neuville : 1 (ES1)

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