Fri 23 Jun 2023

Dominguez goes clear in WRC3 as Anwar suffers late anguish

FIA Junior WRC regular Diego Dominguez has been left with a commanding lead in WRC3 following Friday at Safari Rally Kenya after midday leader Hamza Anwar picked up three punctures on the final stage of the afternoon, seeing the Kenyan hopeful drop more than 15 minutes.

Anwar began the day 9.9sec down on overnight leader Dominguez in the all-Ford Fiesta Rally3 class but surged into the lead by midday when he went 42.9sec clear of his Paraguayan rival on the final stage of the morning loop. Dominguez opted for a cautious approach to the Kedong stage, having seen his rally end there 12 months prior.

It was a lead that Anwar, himself a Junior WRC regular, maintained through the opening two stages of the afternoon loop - but his luck unravelled on the second pass of Kedong as he limped through the flying finish after puncturing both his front tyres early in the stage. His misfortune did not end there however, with another puncture coming soon after and no more spares to rely on.

That propelled Canada's Jason Bailey into second spot, albeit 4min 40.7sec down on Dominguez, whilst 2022 Junior WRC competitor McRae Kimathi moved into podium position a further 5min 32.8sec behind.

Despite the large time gaps, none of the drivers will be feeling out of contention just yet, with 12 stages yet to run and Safari Rally Kenya's notoriously high attrition rate to factor in.

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