HomeMotorsportKalle Rovanperä and Toyota Gazoo Racing Win the WRC Safari Rally Kenya...

Kalle Rovanperä and Toyota Gazoo Racing Win the WRC Safari Rally Kenya 2022

Kalle Rovanperä has won the World Rally Championship, WRC Safari Rally 2022 as has his team, Toyota Gazoo Racing, after three days of grueling rally action in what has been termed the toughest rally in the world. Kalle was accompanied by co-driver Jonne Halttunen. Rovanperä’s prospects look good as he continues his wonderful run, topping off stellar performances such as in Greece and Estonia. The weekend was awash with stunning performances and its fair share of breakdowns but luckily no major accidents.

WRC Safari Rally Kenya 2022 Overall Classification Results

WRC Safari Rally Kenya 2022 Overall Classification Results
WRC Safari Rally Kenya 2022 Overall Classification Results. Source: WRC.

In second place was Elfyn Evans, Takamoto Katsuta came in third, and last year’s champion Sebastien Ogier came in fourth in the overall classification. The Safari Rally this year got the best of Ogier and he was unable to defend his championship. All top four drivers were driving a Toyota Yaris kitted out by the Toyota Gazoo Racing team.

Manufacturer’s Championship Results

WRC Safari Rally Kenya 2022 Manufacturer's Championship Results
WRC Safari Rally Kenya 2022 Manufacturer’s Championship Results. Source: WRC.

Toyota Gazoo Racing has won Toyota the manufacturer’s championship after winning positions one, two, three, and four, a feat that they only achieved once again back in 1993. The Toyota team has really outdone themselves this time around, having not only weathered the tough terrain but also bagged positions one to four. The Toyota Yaris they kitted out for the WRC 2022 Safari Rally Kenya was truly something special.

WRC Safari Rally Kenya 2022 Driver’s Championship Results

WRC Safari Rally Kenya 2022 Driver's Championship Results
WRC Safari Rally Kenya 2022 Driver’s Championship Results. Source: WRC.

Kalle Rovanperä won the driver’s championship in a Toyota Yaris, one of the tougher cars in the Safari Rally this year, if not the toughest. At just 21, Kalle Rovanperä is the youngest rally and Safari rally champion ever. His father came second in the championship two decades ago but Kalle Rovanpera has gone on to win it. Rovanperä has now won 5 of the WRC Rally 2022 stages and is in the lead with 145 points, 65 points clear of second-place Thierry Neuville. Thierry Neuville, in a Hyundai i20 N, came second in the driver’s championship after winning the Wolf Power Stage to claim five bonus points, adding up to a total of 85 points. His teammate Ott Tanak came in third, with 62 points.

Thierry Neuville won the Wolf Power Stage and bagged maximum points.
Thierry Neuville won the Wolf Power Stage and bagged maximum points. Source: WRC.

WRC Safari Rally Kenya 2022 Highlights 

The WRC Safari Rally Kenya 2022 was perhaps more challenging than the 2021 Safari Rally as the weather was somewhat unpredictable with muddy stages experienced on day two, leading to a fair share of breakdowns.

Thierry Neuville in the 2022 WRC Safari Rally
Thierry Neuville in his Hyundai i20 N navigating the muddy course on Day 2.

A Tough Course in the Kenyan Landscape for the WRC Safari Rally

Overall, the course was tough and offered nothing short of a spectacular experience for the drivers, teams, and spectators as the teams raced in picturesque surroundings in the Kenyan wild.

Rovanpera wins 2022 WRC Safari Rally
Of all the drivers, Rovanperä is the one who seemed most adaptive to the rough conditions in the Kenyan landscape. he was consistent and that propelled him to his win.

There were gladly no major accidents even as a stage was red-flagged canceled after Oliver Solberg got stuck in powder sand (fesh fesh) on the morning of Day 3. Most of the manufacturers had a difficult time coping with repetitive breakdowns, especially for the M-Sport Ford Hybrids that were flaky when it came to reliability and endurance. Of all the manufacturers, Toyota with their Toyota Gazoo Racing team was the one that could take a beating the best in the rough terrain.

WRC 2022 Safari Rally in Pictures

Drama on Day Two of the 2022 WRC Safari Rally as Gus Greensmith Rolls Over

On the other hand, the only minor accident during the weekend was when Gus Greensmith rolled over in his Ford M-Sport Puma on the morning of Day 2. Luckily, no one was injured.

Gus Greensmith in the FIA WRC Safari Rally 2022. Kalle Rovanpera and Toyota Gazoo Racing Win the WRC Safari Rally Kenya 2022
Gus Greensmith rolled over in his Ford M-Sport Puma and was irked that the guards and spectators didn’t rush to his rescue.

Gus was irked, however, that the guards and spectators didn’t rush to his rescue but they were obeying the rules given out. Spectators were instructed to not touch or approach the vehicles, especially since they’re hybrids, and have batteries that could easily burst into flames. The FIA later clarified that marshalls and spectators should only touch the car when it has green-light safety indicators showing and not red warning lights.

WRC2 and WRC3 Results: Maxine Wahome Makes History

Ketan Kajetanowicz won the WRC2 in a Skoda Fabia Evo, followed by Sean Johnston in a Citroen C3 who came in second. Third place went to Kenyan Singh Rai, a career-best and his best result in a WRC event.

Sean Johnston in a Citroen C3.
Sean Johnston in a Citroen C3. He came second in WRC2.

Victory in WRC3 went to Kenyan racing starlet Maxine Wahome in a Ford Fiesta, followed by her brother Jeremy Wahome also in a Ford Fiesta. Maxine Wahome made history as the first Kenyan woman to win a WRC support championship round. Third place went to Kenya’s McRae Kimathi.

Maxine Wahome won WRC2 in this year's Safari Rally
Kenyan racing starlet Maxine Wahome won WRC2 in this year’s Safari Rally.

The WRC Rally will next head to Estonia in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for more Motorsport news. Kindly donate to support future reporting.

David Mania
David Maniahttp://maniaincsports.com
David Mania is an upcoming musician and blogger.
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