Can TGR do it again????

Since the return of WRC to Kenya in 2021 Toyota Gazoo Racing (TGR) has dominated the stage with Sébastien Ogier winning the event twice in 2023 and 2021while Kalle ROVANPERÄ managed to hold him off in 2022.

The Japanese manufacturer seems to have mastered the art of winning Africa. Since the safari rally is the only event running on the continent its worth saying the TGR has conquered it.

In 2021 TGR placed two drivers on Podium with Sébastien Ogier coming first with a total time of 3:18:11:3 and Takamoto KATSUTA coming In second 21.8 seconds behind his team mate. Ott TÄNAK in his Hyundai I20 Coupe WRC manged to place 3rd overall 47.7 seconds behind Taka.

Being the first time the event run since 2002 we hopped that next year of 2022 we would see other team taking first place only to be hit by TGR in 1-2-3 and 4. With Kalle ROVANPERÄ winning it all followed by team mates Elfyn EVANS, Takamoto KATSUTA and Sébastien Ogier in that order TGR enacted the 1993 stunt where they placed Kankkunen Juha, Alén Markku, Duncan Ian, and Iwase Yasuhiro ahead of the pack.

In 2023 we saw other teams changing their car set up to fit the treacherous trucks of the safari rally. Ford in their Puma raised its height to almost maximum and with Ott TÄNAK on their team and a win on the 1st stage we hoped that this was the one. However, the excitement was short lived as Ott TÄNAK sttred to fall behind in stage 2 and eventually TGR did it again, placing all their 4 cars ahead of the pack.

Once again WRC returns to Kenya for a 4th round, running from 28th to 31st March. In absence of Sébastien Ogier can TGR still take the lead? Certainly 1-2-3-4 is off the table considering that TGR has only 3 entries Including Elfyn EVANS, Takamoto KATSUTA and Kalle ROVANPERÄ.

With Team HYUNDAI fronting Thierry NEUVILLE, Ott TÄNAK and Esapekka LAPPI immediately after his win in Rally Sweden, Can TGR take the Podium? Team M-SPORT FORD comes with Adrien FOURMAUX, Grégoire MUNSTER who still learning the car, and Jourdan SERDERIDIS. Is M-Sport ready to battle the other teams?

Well we will find out on the last FF of Hells gate. Friday and Saturday will also give us a pretty good picture of the event since this is when competitors have an opportunity to score the highest points.

See On Thursday 28th march in Kasarani as competitors take on the 4th round of safari rally Kenya.

The event will run for four days

Date                                                            Activity                Location                        Distance

Wednesday 27th march 2024                  Shakedown                    Loldia                                  5.40 Km

Thursday 28th March 2024                      Super Special Stage       Kasarani                              4.84 Km

Friday 29th March 2024                           Day 2 Stages X2       Loldia                   19.17 Km

                                                                                                      Geothermal          13.12 Km

                                                                                                      Kedong                31:50 Km

                                                                                    Total SS Distance Day 02                127.58 Km

Saturday 30th March 2024                      Day 3 Stages X2        Soysambu            29.32 Km

                                                                                                       Elementeita          15.08 Km

                                                                                                      Sleeping Warrior 36.08 Km

                                                                                    Total SS Distance Day 03               160.96 Km

Sunday 31st March 2024                              Day 04 Stages X2      Malewa                8.33 Km                                                                                                        Oserengoni 18.33 Km                                                                                                   Hell’s Gate 10.53 Km                  

                                                                                    Total SS Distance Day 04      74.38 Km

Total Competitive Distance after Stage 19                                                              367.76 Km.

2023 FIA World Rally Championship / Round 07 / Safari Rally Kenya / 21st-25th June, 2023 // Worldwide Copyright: Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT

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