Rallye du Kenya: Rovanperä Domine la matinée

Rallye du Kenya: Rovanperä Domine la matinée

World champion Kalle Rovanperä won all three stages on the morning’s program at Rally Kenya and leads the standings. Frenchman Adrien Fourmaux is seventh.

He had already almost won the first special, finishing only seven tenths behind Thierry Neuville. But on Friday morning, Kalle Rovanperä largely dominated the competition at the Kenya Rally, winning all three special stages on the program. However, his day had not started very well on the very dry roads around Loldia. The Finn complained of understeer problems (like the other drivers) and even damaged his left front tire during SS2.

This did not prevent him from taking the lead in the standings, with a little more than a second ahead of Ott Tänak. SS3, won on the wire against Esapekka Lappi, took place without incident, and it was SS4 which allowed him to take a comfortable lead, winning by eleven seconds over the Estonian and twelve on the Finn.

Neuville struggled

During this morning, it was Thierry Neuville, championship leader, who opened the road, and the Belgian struggled at the wheel of his Hyundai, conceding 3, then 20 and 26 seconds to the Finn during the three specials. Victim of understeer during SS2 then a puncture during SS3, he had to wear protective glasses in SS4 due to the dust present in the cabin of his Hyundai. He finds himself sixth overall.

In the absence of Sébastien Ogier during this Kenyan stage, Adrien Fourmaux represents the main French chance on this rally, and the Northerner already finds himself 1’16 behind Rovanperä. In particular, he found SS2 more slippery than expected, before recovering on SS3 and taking no risks in SS4, which caused him to lose 48 seconds on the leader. The Frenchman is now seventh. Three new specials will be on the program for the afternoon.

Ranking at the end of SS4 (out of 19) – Friday March 29, 2024
1- Kalle Rovanperä – Jonne Halttunen (FIN-FIN/Toyota) 39’53″1
2- Esapekka Lappi – Janne Ferm (FIN-FIN/Hyundai) à 15″5
3- Ott Tänak – Martin Järveoja (EST-EST/Hyundai) à 16″8
4- Takamoto Katsuta – Aaron Johnstone (JAP-IRL/Toyota) à 41″3
5- Elfyn Evans – Scott Martin (GBR-GBR/Toyota) à 43″1

7- Adrien Fourmaux – Alexandre Coria (FRA-FRA/Ford M-Sport) at 1’16″6

Special stage winners
Neuville : 1 (ES1)
Rovanperä : 3 (ES2, ES3, ES4)

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