Thursday | 24 Jun 2021

Ogier cool on Kenya prep

Sébastien Ogier is hoping a more relaxed approach to this week’s Safari Rally Kenya (24 - 27 June) will pay dividends as the FIA World Rally Championship returns to Africa for the first time in almost two decades.

The Frenchman kicked off rally week in style to go fastest over the 5.15km Loldia shakedown test by just 0.1sec over Toyota Yaris team-mate Elfyn Evans. 

But, while the majority of his rivals have been frustrated by the lack of competitive-speed videos with which to familiarise themselves of the route, Ogier admits he’s from a generation less reliant on onboards.

“The recce was important,” said Ogier. “I’m not from this generation, I can not spend hours in front of computers.”

Asked what he’d done between Rally Italia Sardegna and leaving for Kenya, Ogier replied: “I relaxed and stayed home with my family. I haven’t watched much of the old footage [of previous Safari Rallies] – lots of things have changed.

“The recce went well and shakedown was quite representative, so it gave us a chance to test a little bit and adjust the set-up for the rally. I feel ready, but are we really ready for this kind of rally? I’m not sure!”

None of this has, however, impacted on the championship leader’s desire to land an African success before he retires.

The Toyota star was quickest on shakedown

“Of course,” said Ogier, “I would be happy to have this one, it is definitely something a bit special. Like always, I’ll do my best to have my name on the winners’ list.”

The Frenchman added that anybody’s chances of a win depended on the approach in Kenya.

“The strategy you need to win this one is very tricky,” he said. “We need to find the fine line with having the correct rhythm and not pushing too much. Staying out of trouble, that’s the main target.”

  • Full coverage from Safari Rally Kenya will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.

 

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