WRC Rally, Back to Africa: Sky Dating

The 69th edition of the Rally Safari, the second since the WRC’s return to Africa after a twenty-year absence from the calendar, is almost a turning point for a world championship that seemed too soon to be marked. Quote to Sky Sport Action

Just over 363 km timed, 43 of which more than in 2021, with 19 special tests all designed entirely on private estates, on a very even surface, between heat and dust, tradition and legend. Edition number 69 of the Rally Safarithe second of the return of WRC in Africa after a twenty-year absence from the calendar, it is almost a turning point for a world championship that too soon seemed marked: it is no mystery that in Sardinia the ‘millennial’ Kalle Rovanpera – absolute leader, in Toyota, of the 2022 season. – took advantage of a difficult match as a visitor, taking advantage of the mistakes of his rivals. But it is even less mysterious that at Hyundai, after the brilliant success on the island of the 4 Moors, now they begin to believe that a different future is within reach and possible and that -possibly- it is precisely from Kenya that we should leave .

In the general classification Rovanpera -after only 5 out of 13 races- he already has an advantage of 55 points over the second (Neuville, Hyundai) and 58 over the third (Tanak, Hyundai) and the challenge immediately catches the eye: to extend the ranking even further or shorten -lo. . But not only that Safari will be an interesting appointment and not even because of the undoubted difficult conditions that the protagonists will encounter along the way. In Kenya – for the third time this year – the dualism between the top world champions and the two great WRC legends will be re-proposed: Sébastian Loeb and Sébastien Ogier, seventeen world titles in two (9 and 8 respectively). In search of other prestigious milestones and loose mines capable of taking valuable points to full time riders in the race for ultimate success.

So if Kenya’s weekend is to be a source of redemption especially for Rovanperä and Neuville, who have a pending Safari account since last year, the other side of the coin is that success. of 2021 of Ogier to whom Loeb will surely give the hunt to match the Grand Slam achieved 12 months ago, winning the five major world rallies. By bringing the Ford Puma to success, Loeb would catch up with Ogier (and also Carlos Sainz) on this legendary statistic. But Ott Tanak and Craig Breen came out of Sardinia very encouraged, which obviously can only be good for the show. Elfyn Evans deserves a separate speech, already doomed to run until the end of the season only for partial results.

Compared to One year ago, the program includes completely new rehearsals, such as the so-called Geothermal which will be staged on Friday or the Narasha scheduled for Sunday. The Soysambu and Kedong tests have loomed slightly, while the Loldia tests have been extended by eight kilometers. At the level of dispute between the various factions, Loldia has gone from Sunday to Friday and Oserian has followed the opposite path. Finally, both Kasarani’s super special on Thursday and Hell’s Gate’s Power Stage have been confirmed. A ‘resistance’ weekend is expected with several reasons for interest… And obviously Sky will be following him very closely, broadcasting 5 live specials between Thursday and Sunday on Sky Sport Action:

  • Thursday, June 23 – 1:00 p.m. PS 1 Kasarani
  • Saturday 25 June – 8.00 am PS 9 Elmenteita 1

– 14.00 h SS 12 Elmenteita 2

  • Sunday, June 26 – 8:00 a.m. PS 16 Hell’s Gate 1

– 1 p.m. PS 19 Hell’s Gate 2 (Power Stage)


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