Toyota's Rovanpera maintains lead on a tough, rain-soaked Saturday

Kalle Rovanpera from Finland navigated by John Haltunnen driving Toyota Yaris goes through a river at Soysambu ranch during WRC Safari Rally Kenya 2022 in Nairobi on Saturday 25, 2022. [Stafford Ondego, Standard] 

Kalle Rovanpera of Toyota Racing stretched his lead in the Safari Rally by 40.3 seconds on a tough Saturday afternoon that claimed several casualties in Naivasha.

The Finn clocked 2:52:39.7 to maintain his overnight lead in the series which he is currently commanding on 120 points.

 It was a tough afternoon as drivers waded through heavy rains, mud baths, darkness and slippery trenches on Day 3 of the Safari Rally that traversed Soysambu, Elmenteita and Sleeping Warrior stages in Naivasha on Saturday.

More punishing was the tough 31.04km Sleeping Warrior that had Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville stuck in the middle of the route before going off road at 30.9km.

 M-Sport Ford’s Sebastien Loeb suffered a puncture and damaged suspension on the route set on the shadow of a hill that resembles a sleeping Maasai warrior and crisscrosses the natural plains before a rocky finish.

 Another M-Sport Ford pilot, Serderidis Jourdan, also got stuck in the wet slippery mud that turned the windscreens almost invisible when wiped.

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