WRC 1: Safari Rally Kenya Tänak Leads

June 22, 2023Joe Moore

The first day of the Safari Rally Kenya has come to an end. Ott Tänak leads the pack after the day, with a 0.1-second lead over Ogier. 


2022 Safari Rally Kenya winner Kalle Rovanperä would set the fastest time on the Shakedown stage. As Rovanperä would set a time 1.5 seconds faster than Ott Tänak. Sebastien Ogier set the third fastest time on shakedown, finishing 0.2 seconds slower than Tänak. Thierry Neuville finished with the fourth fastest time on the shakedown stage, finishing 0.2 seconds slower than Ogier. Elfyn Evans would round out the top five on the shakedown stage, finishing 0.1 seconds slower than Neuville.


Ott Tänak (EST) Martin Järveoja (EST) Of team M-SPORT FORD WORLD RALLY TEAM are seen racing during the World Rally Championship Kenya in Nairobi, Kenya on 22 June, 2023 // Jaanus Ree / Red Bull Content Pool

The first stage of Safari Rally Kenya would see Ott Tänak on top. As Tänak set a time 0.1 seconds faster than Sebastien Ogier to take an early lead. Kalle Rovanperä finished with the third fastest time on the stage, finishing 2.3 seconds slower than Ogier. Thierry Neuville would take fourth on the stage, finishing 0.3 seconds slower than Rovanperä. Eflyn Evans would round out the top five, finishing 0.6 seconds behind Neuville. Esapekka Lappi sits just 0.7 seconds behind Evans at the end of day one.

Trouble For Sordo

Dani Sordo would become the first driver to experience an issue at Safari Rally Kenya. Although it wasn’t a major one, it could still be costly down the road. As Sordo would receive a 10-second penalty for a false start. This would push the Hyundai driver down to 16th overall, 0.5 seconds behind Armin Kramer. If Sordo didn’t receive a penalty he would’ve been in 8th place, 0.8 seconds behind Takamoto Katsuta.