WRC Safari Rally: Nine-time champ Sebastien Loeb first Safari Rally casualty

Sebastien Loeb from navigated by Isabelle Galmiche driving a FORD Puma cruises through the Loldia Shakedown stage during the WRC Safari Rally Kenya at Ndulele conservancy in Naivasha on June 22, 2022. [Stafford Ondego, Standard]

Nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastien Loeb is the first driver to bid the 2022 Safari Rally championship goodbye.

The French legend hit a tree in today’s opening Loldia 1 Stage that damaged his bumper and continued to wreak havoc on his Ford Puma Rally1 hybrid car.

Loeb had won the 19.17km stretch in 14:18.8, but the damage became extensive as he pursued glory in the next two stages located in Geothermal and Kedong.

“We still don’t have more information about Loeb but the truth is he has to retire for the day. It’s quite disappointing but we are glad to still have a couple of cars in the Safari Rally,” M-Sports Ford Team Principal Richard Millener told Standard sports.

Despite the frustration, Loeb can still rejoin the race on Saturday but will be docked five minutes for every stage missed.

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