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A-Z of this year's World Rally Championship Safari Rally

 President William Ruto takes a photo with WRC rally winners in Naivasha. [Hira Omondi, PCS]

Standard Sports highlights to you the A- Z of the championship that was won by eight-time world winner Sebastien Ogier.

Take a read...

A

Adnan Din is the navigator of Kenya's and FIA Rally Star driver Hamza Anwar. They were the first lot to retire from the gruelling 1191.06km battle.

B

Betika-sponsored Carl Tundo was the best placed Kenyan driver at 11th place. Tundo cleared the journey in 4:41:38.6.

C

Climate change was part of the Safari Rally agenda. The rally advocated for sustainable actions on climate change through its Greening Legacy Project that aims to plant 19 million trees across the country.

D

Diego Dominguez of Paraguay clocked 4:37:57.1 to win the WRC3 category. Kenya's Maxine Wahome emerged victorious in last year's race in this category.

E

Estonia is where the eighth leg of the 13-legged WRC series is headed after the Safari Rally. Homeboy Ott Tanak of Hyundai has vowed to win the leg. He is the most loved figure in Estonia.

F

Fesh Fesh in the 30.62km Kedong stage was quite punishing. Hyundai's Esapekka Lappi was forced to retire. Other casualties in the section were Takamoto Katsuta (Toyota), Tanak, Oliver Solberg (Skoda Fabia) and Pierre-Louis Loubet.

G

Go Electric Limited, an e-mobility solution ferried fans from Nairobi to Naivasha to watch the Rally. The fans were also ferried within Naivasha town to various spectators stages to catch up with the spectacle.

 Gregoire Munster navigated by Louis Louka from Luxenberg driving Ford Fiesta during Safari Rally Kenya 2023 special stage at Kasarani stadium on June 22, 2023. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

H

Hell's Gate was the last stage of the championship. It is also known as the Wolf Power Stage. It is the most loved stage by spectators. This is where Ogier sealed his second Safari Rally victory on Sunday.

I

i20 N Rally Hybrid is the make of vehicle used by Hyundia drivers Thierry Neuville, Lappi and Dani Sordo in this year's Safari Rally.

J

Juha Kankkunen, the Toyota legend was present in Naivasha to watch as the Japenese manufacturer sealed another 1-2-3-4 finish. The first feat like that was in 1993 which Kankkunen won, it was repeated last year in the victory which was led by Finn youngster Kalle Rovanpera.

K

Kasarani Super Special Stage was the opening round of the 19 stage championship. The section was won by Tanak on Thursday.

L

Lappi Esapekka and his navigator Janne Ferm were amazed by their debut in Africa. Lappi admitted he found the Safari Rally quite a nut to crack. Lappi, who was forced into retirement, said: "I have never experienced anything like this before."

M

Maasai dancers welcomed winner Ogier at the end of the Wolf Power Stage where he sealed his second Safari Rally victory. He danced with them before being awarded with the trophy by President William Ruto.

N

Naivasha or 'Vasha' is the location where Kenyan leg of the WRC Safari Rally is held every season. The WRC rally status returned to Kenya in 2021 after a 19-year hiatus.

O

Omanyala Ferdinand, the Africa's fastest man had a rare chance to meet world rally champion Rovanpera in Athi River, where the two did a blockbuster advert for Toyota.

P

Propshaft damage was the main undoing for Hyundai in the championship. This has been their perennial nightmare in the Safari Rally. It was sad to see Lappi and Neuville retire from the rally.

Q

QW96+H24 is the Safari Rally Headquarters in Kasarani, Nairobi plus code address, in case you didn't know.

 Czech rally driver Martin Prokop in action. [WRC.com]

R

Ruto became the first Kenyan president to ride in a rally car at the Shakedown in Loldia.

S

Sleeping Warrior was another difficult stage to tackle. The drivers had a crazy day going through the frustrating 31.04 km stretch which was marred by the evening rains, making the racing conditions worse. The cars went off-road in the rocky sections, some wheels spinned while others skid off to the nearby bushes.

T

Toyota Gazoo Racing are winners of this year's Safari Rally Championship. Toyota bagged a 1-2-3-4 finish in the event through Ogier, Rovanpera, Elfyn Evans and Katsuta.

U

Uhuru Park is where the Safari Rally was flagged off by the deputy president Rigathi Gachagua on Thursday.

V

Vassilakis George of Greece (Ford Fiesta) was forced out of the championship following a road an accident on Saturday along the Naivasha-Nakuru Highway while driving back to the service park.

W

Wildlife Research Training Institute (WRTI) is the venue where the Safari Rally Headquarters and Service Park are located.

X

This year's Safari Rally was nothing but extraordinary.

Y

Youth and young at heart were in their hundreds cheering on the rally drivers as they did their thing on each stage.

Z

Zebras were among the animals that the drivers met along the way during the competition. Katsuta was not lucky as he hit one in Lodia. He also suffered two punctures and a broken steering wheel on the day.

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