Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Sebastien Ogier lies in fourth place overall heading into the weekend following the opening day of Safari Rally Kenya following a tough experience after suffering a technical issue that put him down to seventh however, in the afternoon he recovered to finish in fourth place.

Speaking following the action, Ogier commented saying:

We expected tough conditions here and it has not been a surprise to see everyone having a lot of trouble today. We were a bit unlucky with the problem that we had this morning, which meant we had to drive slowly to bring the car back to service, but in the end we kept fighting. This afternoon the conditions were even more extreme, but we managed to get through without big dramas. We’re back in fourth tonight and a lot of things are still possible.”

Elfyn Evans was running in fourth place until he hit a large rock which forced him to retire from the day and speaking following the action he commented saying:

“It was a massive disappointment for our day to end so early. I made a fairly basic mistake, to be honest, and I’m kicking myself for that. The stone was sticking out further than what I had marked in our pace-notes and we clipped it. On an event like this, you have to try and fix something if you can, but once I could inspect the damage I knew there was no chance to continue today. Now we have to look forward to the rest of the weekend and try and salvage something from it.”

Kalle Rovanpera ended the day in seventh place and speaking following the action he commented saying:

“This morning I think we started quite smart, taking it carefully to see how the car will handle the rough parts, and then we picked up the pace a bit. The afternoon started well with the fastest time, and I think we were controlling it well. But in the last stage just after the start, a lot of dust came up from the ground and I couldn’t see anything, so I had to slow down, and then we got stuck in the ruts. It’s really frustrating because we were in a good situation before that. But the rally is not over and we will try to take what we can.”

Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC Team Principal Jari-Matti Latvala commented following the opening day of Safari Rally Kenya saying:

We have seen the real nature of the Safari Rally today. It was still looking like it might be a strong finish to the day for us, but unfortunately Kalle had his problem in the final stage, one that is unique to this rally. I’m really happy for Takamoto: he was doing exactly the job we discussed this morning, which was to stay consistent and calm and the result will come. The problem for Seb was unfortunate, but he is also still in a good position as a lot can still happen. Kalle is not too far off either and Elfyn will also restart, so we can still get good points here if we can get to the finish.”

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