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Sat 24 Jun 2023

Punishing Saturday plays havoc with WRC3 in Kenya

It is a case of last person standing in WRC3 at Safari Rally Kenya with Diego Dominguez the sole driver to safely navigate all six of Saturday's gruelling tests.

Taking the lead late on Friday when fellow FIA Junior WRC regular Hamza Anwar was forced to retire after picking up three punctures on the day's final stage, Dominguez was unrivalled on Saturday as all other competitors in the all-Ford Fiesta Rally3 class required assistance to get back to the Naivasha service park.

Anwar's troubles from Friday afternoon continued into Saturday morning when the Kenyan hopeful came to an abrupt halt following a water splash on the day's first stage.

Next to falter was Jason Bailey. After winning the opening stage of the day and sitting a comfortable second overall, the Canadian hit  a compression and damaged his engine's oil sump, elevating Jeremiah Wahome into second at the end of the loop.

Further back in the field, there were also problems for last year's Junior WRC participant McRae Kimathi, whose rally ended with a broken steering arm.

Even with a lead of over 20 minutes at midday service, there was no time for Dominguez to sit back and enjoy his lunch. Instead, the Paraguayan was forced to roll up his sleeves, forgoing his food to assist his team in changing his Fiesta Rally3's gearbox.

That was more than what could be said for his last remaining rival Jeremiah Wahome, who was forced into retirement for mechanical reasons - leaving Dominguez to tackle the afternoon loop alone

Should the 23-year-old complete Sunday's stage incident-free, it will mark his second WRC3 victory of the season and elevate him to second overall in the championship standings.

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