Sat 30 Mar 2024

SS8: Evans in trouble, Neuville inherits P3

Elfyn Evans has plummeted from second to fifth overall at Safari Rally Kenya after he was forced to stop and change a wheel during Saturday’s opening stage at Soysambu.

The Welshman, who had trailed his rally-leading Toyota team-mate Kalle Rovanperä by almost one minute overnight, pulled over 12.7km into the 29.32km stage to swap the rear-left wheel on his GR Yaris Rally1.

In doing so he leaked almost two minutes, slipping to fifth while his closest championship rival Thierry Neuville – who topped the points standings coming into this rally – climbed to third in his Hyundai i20 N. Toyota man Takamoto Katsuta inherited second overall while Rovanperä remained in the lead with a 55.6s buffer.

“We got an alarm, but didn’t really feel anything in the first instance,” Evans revealed. “Sure enough it was [a puncture] and it was too far to try and drive it out.”

Also in trouble was Ott Tänak, who rejoined the action after retiring on Friday with suspension damage. He forgot to re-secure a bonnet pin after working on his Hyundai i20 N before the stage and stopped for around one minute. Grégoire Munster limped through more than five minutes off the pace with broken rear suspension.

“We had a very busy road section with lots of work and the bonnet pin was our mistake,” explained Tänak. “We didn’t realise it hadn’t clicked in correctly so we had to sort it out.”

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM