Safari Rally Kenya 2021
23. 6. – 27. 6. 2021, Naivasha • WRC Safari Rally Kenya • gravel 315.26 km • total distance including road sections - 1133.94 km • Other years
"It's been an amazing experience to be here. The support we got from the people here is incredible. There was a huge amount of people cheering for us on road sections. It’s a great win for us. After our troubles on Friday, we had a really good weekend. We had really good pace and the car was amazing. Today I also want to congratulate Taka. He has made an amazing job, so well done Taka. It was not that easy to catch him at the end now. A great result for the team. It might be a bit shorter than old days, but the challenge is still very tough. We enjoyed it."
"It's feeling very good. It has been a very long weekend. Okay, everybody had some problems, but we survived and that's why we are here. I am very happy with the team and the car, so thanks to them."
"This rally, my approach was like 50 to 60 per cent maximum, not do any mistakes and be as smooth as possible. It's a shame Thierry couldn't work it out. Let's see - now we go back to Estonia, so it should be fun."
"It's good. I have to say thanks to all the team for this opportunity and also to Malcolm who is watching us. It was a perfect weekend - the car was perfect without any issues."
"I tried to drive smart and try and find the grip. It's been a pretty good weekend all-round, but let's see."
"I have been waiting. I think with our crossed tyres, the time is not so bad. It was a difficult weekend - not the way I wanted to spend the weekend. A big job from the team, they kept the car going all the time."
"Looking for points. For sure, in places we were losing a bit of time going wide. It's very difficult to judge exactly where the grip or the line is, but we gave it a go."
"It's been a lesson - an incredible experience and an incredible place. A bit disappointed for the problem with the car on Friday, but we are happy to be here. It's been an amazing weekend."
"It was not really a good weekend for us. We had problems on the first day and lost all our possibilities there. After that, Ott and Thierry still had possibilities to take some points, but it was not like this. It's rallying. We are having a really bad period for the team, but this will change and we will come stronger."
"A lot of challenges this rally with lot of problems on Friday. If we'd just been a bit more sensible, we would have been further up. But anyway, we got here, another rally under the belt, and it's WRC."
"It's been quite tough for both of us and for the team. We are really thankful for the position we finished in. For us, it's Safari, and we are really happy the WRC is back in our hometown."
"It's amazing. I hope he is watching, this is for him. It was a really hard drive and I am really happy that we have got the rally back."
"This one, I had to be careful and not get damage on the car. Let's see what will happen in the next two stages."
"This one, it was just surviving. It was extremely rough, so I tried to save the car. The power stage is going to be tricky because it's also very rough."
"It was rough, but we made it through and it's done now."
"Just can't afford to let off at the moment. I tried to keep it clean but some of the compressions throw you out of the line."
"I am happy with my stage. It was enjoyable - okay, it was really rough in some sections, but that was less than expected, so it's fine."
"It's really really rough. I was just really careful with the car."
"It's really hard surface and a very hard stage, but it's okay."
"This stage was really rough. We managed to go through without problems. We have two stages more to go, so we will enjoy."
"Pretty rough to be honest. Really hard on the tyres. We just tried to take it easy and look after everything."
"It's a surprise, but it's still three stages and anything ca happen in this rally. I have to be very focused. Even on this stage I didn't push at all, but there were so many rocks on the road. These kinds of things can easily happen."
"That was the plan today, to try and fight for second place - now that Thierry is out, it's a fight for the victory. In this stage, really bad conditions."
"It's not good!"
"It's hard to put into words this rally. One minute it's fine, the next it's going end over end - metaphorically."
"There is a lot of sweeping. You can feel in the straight part it is difficult for the car to go."
"The grip level is close to zero there, and already after a few cars there was a lot of loose stones. The rocks are digging up, so on the power stage we have to see if we want to take the risk."
"It's difficult to see. The stage is really rough. I am so disappointed with what has happened to Thierry now - it's so bad."
"This one was very slippery now. It isn't easy, because it's quite slippery with big stones and you can fall in a ditch very easily. I am here to finish the rally, so no drama."
"Difficult. I think the gravel is really thick now, as if we have no power. It will be interesting to see how it evolves."
rear right suspension damage
"I had to push to try to fight for the second place. It was not a perfect stage - I had a half stall in one corner - but we have to keep trying."
"A clean stage. No problems."
"I didn't have any softs [tyres] left, so I was immediately at a disadvantage when it was damp in here. I had to get heat into the tyres so I had to push hard in there, but I have no grip."
"I chose a stage where we can really push, because it's not a rough stage. We tried to push and let's see, but the goal will always be the same to get to the end."
"It has been a long weekend after Friday. I am looking forward to the stages and we are just now trying to save a bit the tyres."
"The car is good. We are taking care with the tyres to see if we can do something in the power stage, but everything is okay."
"This stage was really rough. I didn't expect that and it was quite tricky. We are looking forward to the next, it should be better."
"A bit slippery in places, obviously the grass is quite wet so you can't always be on the perfect line. Generally all okay."
"I took quite some risks to try to keep on, because I knew Ogier was 12min in front [on the road]. He had probably a much drier road than us, but I kept pushing to not lose any time. I am really satisfied we are here."
"Very scary! I never feel that kind of feeling. In the beginning it was okay, but suddenly a storm came and in the rain I couldn't see anything. Okay, I am here."
"My side of the screen was not working. I couldn't see. It's amazing - the quality is amazing."
"Very difficult. I couldn't see anything - it was like driving on ice."
"I think in the first part of the stage, it felt that when it was raining a bit, the ground was a bit more compact and it was maybe helping with the grip."
"Rough! I had some big impacts, but at least we went through safely. We are happy to be at the end of the day."
"It's obviously cooler, but still it's more or less the same conditions. It's never good after yesterday, but okay."
"Today was slow, but the only target we have is to arrive at the end. We enjoyed some stages more than others, but the road cleaning is so high - we can't do nothing more."
"It's okay, just focus on my job. It's going to be tight, but I will try to manage it. No pressure, it's okay."
"The first objective is to finish the day, but of course we want to keep the pressure."
"The gaps are too big, but we are trying our best. There is not much we can do - keep some speed and see."
"There were a few places I got caught out with the notes near the end, but generally it was okay. One more to go."
"We had one moment just before the water splash. It was quite a hot moment! It was a good stage and I was enjoying to drive, but we have one stage to do."
"In one corner we went off into the field a little bit, but nothing serious. We are just driving through."
"It's amazing, I am so happy. I think it's a great country and it's a pleasure to be here."
"It's really demanding and slippery in some places. But it's fine."
"I had a nice clean stage, but I had to brake in the longest straight of the stage to avoid the zebra in the middle of the road. Other than that, it was a nice clean run.
"The tyres are okay. The conditions were better than I expected. I made a few mistakes."
"Just new tyres basically. The conditions are more grippy now, but otherwise, it's nice."
"So far it's good. It's quite a bit more slippery with the tyres now, but it's the same for everybody."
"The car all weekend has been really strong on a hard base. I'm just managing as best I can."
"This morning we were too careful in this stage, so we decided to push with the right pace. I am happy with my job, so we need to continue like that."
"I don't know about the time, but it felt good. With the hard tyre, the balance is quite nice. I just tried to enjoy the driving."
"Everything is okay. So far, so good, we just need to finish the day and let's see."
"The grip has changed, but the condition is not too dissimilar. It hasn't deteriorated too much, so that's good at least, but the grip is definitely much higher."
"Very nice. No problems. I am just driving and trying to analyse a little bit to give information to my team-mates at the back."
"It went okay. I had a clean run - a lot of stones are moving, so a couple of times I had to slow down. I had a clean stage and took it maybe a little bit too careful on the last part."
"Maybe enjoying, but maybe not! It's very difficult and demanding. There are so many changes, and in some sections you don't know where you are. It's hard."
"It's difficult with these artificial stones, and it's very different from the recce. The last part is rough but the rest of it is okay."
"It was okay. I was pretty happy with my notes. I was a bit worried about this one because it's difficult to see the stones, but I was comfortable."
"I don't want to pick up any more punctures or anything like that. Just keep it clean - no issues."
"It was really difficult with the dust inside the car. It was difficult to see where the road was."
"It was a nice stage. We just drive with no mistakes. In some places you can cut much more, but it's difficult to see what is legal."
"It’s just continue my job, and I know what to do. Not bad, but I lost quite a lot of time because of zebra - but it's nice to see!"
"Today is quite easy - it's very smooth, so it's not so bad."
"Not really pushing. I tried to drive clean. I had a lot of animals in the stage and I had to brake a lot for zebra and gazelle and something like this."
"In there I was pretty cautious in places, just with a few of the rocks. Maybe I could have been a bit more aggressive, but I didn't want to take the wheel off doing it."
"In this stage, we knew it wasn't rough, and we knew we could push, so it's what we did. I am happy with my pace."
"Today we are just trying to keep this position and avoid all the problems. It's quite rough in the stages, so I am quite slow all the time. Let's see what we can do."
"Unfortunately, yesterday we had a problem with the pipe on the water pump. We want to finish the rally in the best way possible, so we will enjoy."
"It's just a case of getting through really. It's tight and twisty with a lot of hidden stones today, so trying to keep it in the middle of the road."
"I would like to push here - it's so nice and I like it - but I can't push, I am first on the road and I can't do nothing."
"It was less rough than the previous one. It was a difficult day, but I liked my pace and want to keep it til the end."
"Going up that hill - I do feel for Kalle, because you can't see anything. Luckily I smashed the wipers on and just kept it buried, but I feel for him."
retired after being stucked in the sand at km 0.9
"That’s a surprise. I was almost stopped on the stage because of the dust. I don't know how do I say - in the beginning of the stage, the rut is like hell. I am happy to finish this stage."
front left puncture
rear left and front right puncture
"The biggest issues were the tyres in this stage, but obviously we got to the end. We need to go back to service now - there is some things to check."
"It was a disaster in this stage. So much fesh-fesh. My radiator is completely blocked, we had a bit of overheating and had to back off at the end."
stopped in the stage
Off road, medical intervention
rear right puncture
"It seems okay. No issues - just took it pretty safe, because when it goes rough it's pretty crazy. In the last 3km we had a rear right puncture."
"It was fine. To be honest, I tried to be quite sensible and avoid all the ruts and stones. This last part is impossible to avoid the stones."
"A lot of changes. It seems to be okay so far, just a very rough stage and in the soft sections, the underguard is touching the road."
"We survived, so it's good. I had a feeling like a tyre delaminated, so I was steady, but we are here."
"It went quite okay. I tried to push, but in many places I had to slow a bit. I felt really strange at the end - I didn't get the speed I thought I would."
"All okay - just checking the tyres. I am happy I have got through this one because it's a very difficult stage. No problem - it's all good."
rear right puncture
"We got some time penalty out of service, but the guys have done the best they can to bodge it. Hopefully it makes it to the end of the afternoon - if it fails we stop."
"That sounds not so bad. I was still really careful, avoiding all the ruts. I think I found quite a good rhythm in all the tricky parts. The dust is a big problem in the car, so it's difficult."
"We need to be really careful - especially the next one is very rough. I will try to stay on the road without any damage on the car."
"It's strange - it's rough, but every hairpin it's stalling. [To the camera] What's happening guys?"
"Quite destroyed to be honest. The ruts are really deep - you are unable to get any speed because you are bottoming out all the time. Our cars are not high enough for those conditions really."
hit a tree
"I want to keep my pace for all the weekend, and we will see our position at the end."
"Even in the last stage, I felt like I was driving slow, but we don't have any damping on the rear left it seems. And that's just the first pass!"
retired - water leak
"That's a big surprise. It felt really bad for me. The conditions here were driveable now, but it was a really tricky stage. If the time is good, it's okay."
"I had to go carefully in this stage. I didn't push because we got damage on the last stage, but it seems we have fixed it. I am happy that we survived this morning."
"Believe me, this is the least of the worries."
"Broken suspension on the rear. I just had to make it through very slow."
running slow with damaged damper
"Just coming to the end of a fast section, there was a stone that was sticking out more into the road than I had anticipated. Unfortunately, we clipped it with the front right wheel, and it was enough to break the suspension quite badly. There is no way to repair it or continue from here."
"I was really careful in the rough sections. Even in the sections you find you can push, sometimes there are things you don't see."
"Horrific. And that's the first pass! Quite early on, we broke the anti-roll-bar at the back, so that wasn't pleasant. We'll keep going."
"It was an incredible stage. The condition is so bad and there are big ruts all the time. At the end of the stage I had a puncture, and there was so much dust in the car I couldn't breathe - it's Safari for sure."
"The only target was to not damage the car. It's already very demanding, so the second time I think it will be very much on the limit."
"Incredibly rough. Very deep ruts - I was close to rolling the car a couple of times in the ruts, so I had to adapt the rhythm. I was really afraid that I would push the tyre off the rim. As we can see, we need to survive."
left rear suspension issue
front right wheel off
"It was a very difficult stage. So loose and much more than I expected, but it's okay."
"It's really slippery, much more than expected. To protect the car, you need quite a stiff set-up, but I think we are too stiff, so we had no grip."
"For me, it felt so rough already. It's better to be at the front, for sure. We need to do some work to get the car turning a bit better."
"It's really difficult. I have never driven in that kind of stage - you have no grip at all and these really narrow places. It was an okay start."
"I don't know why. I used the clutch and immediately the engine didn't have power. After that, the engine stopped and I had to start again. Okay, it's a long way to go, so it's fine."
"It's tricky, but the washer is leaking all the time and all the time I have to wash with the dust."
"This is something! The ruts were much deeper than on the recce, and I struggled a bit with the understeer. The road is so narrow, so it's difficult to find the good line."
"Very slippery and very narrow. Quite difficult to see as well, with dust coming onto the screen quite a lot. A tough one to start."
"Incredibly slippery. Very sandy surface and absolutely no grip. I don't know how it's going to evolve behind, but we had to make it through."
"Tomorrow is going to be the biggest start. It's amazing to see such a crowd. So far so good, but tomorrow the real stuff is coming."
"For sure, this one was quite slippy, but I am happy that we didn't use the soft tyre."
"Who knows how this weekend will play out. It's not going to be an easy one, but we're looking forward to the challenge.
"There is a big variety on the stages - there's a bit of everything here. We will see how it will be."
"It's going to be an interesting rally. After shakedown I felt a pretty good feeling, but you never know what's going to happen. I made already one mistake and stalled the engine, but that's only a small mistake if you think over the whole weekend."
"For sure, it will be a fantastic weekend. Very exciting - it's a very different rally and the first time with this car on gravel. This stage was great fun."
"I am happy to be here. I have not rallied on gravel since Chile. It's an amazing place, amazing fans, and I want to enjoy the rally."
"I didn't expect it - I have only done 15km in the car. It was a bit looser than I expected, but we had good fun."
"I am enjoying it a lot. It is my first WRC rally, and we will look forward to have fun and go to the finish line."
"It's awesome - it's such an experience. I am going to lap this up for the next three days, and hopefully we get to the end."