The WRC safari rally was just concluded on Sunday afternoon at Hell’s Gate Naivasha and Sebastian Ogier together with his co-driver Julien Ingrassia popped a bottle of champagne to celebrate their win.
This came after long time rally winner Thierry Neuville smashed his suspension during a speed test on Sunday morning. Many had anticipated that he would once again be the champion, but Ogier who was driving a Toyota Gazoo surprisingly took the win after suffering his own suspension troubles which saw him take the seventh place on Friday. Ogier crossed the Wolf Power stage eight seconds faster than Takamota Katsuta who came in second place.
President Uhuru Kenyatta showed up later on in the day to give the drivers their trophy and celebrate the win. Since then, Kenyatta has announced that an agreement has been made between the Kenyan Government, FIA and WRC to hold the safari rally in Kenya each year until 2026. This marks Kenya as the only country in Africa to be given such a prestigious honor.
Drivers expressed that this was the most challenging rally they have ever experienced. They also fell in love with Kenya’s beauty and richness in wildlife promising that they will return to Kenya for holiday. Ott Tanak from Estonia stated that “If it’s not in my calendar next year, I will stop racing. A zebra jumped over my car during reccee and I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Such beauty.” Adrien Fourmaux said “I was tempted to stop my car and take pictures of the beautiful scenes. The colours, the people, such warmth”.
Thousands of people from all over East Africa had gathered amidst the pandemic to witness the iconic event and cheered the drivers on. The Nakuru- Naivasha road was at a complete standstill as all roads were leading to the town.