Sebastien Ogier extended his lead at the head of the World Rally Championship title race with victory in the Safari Rally in Kenya on Sunday.
Ogier benefitted from the early retirement of overnight leader Thierry Neuville who broke his right rear shock absorber during the day’s first special stage.
Frenchman Ogier came home 21.8 seconds ahead of his Toyota teammate Takamoto Katsuta with the Estonian Ott Tanak third in his Hyundai.
It is Ogier’s 53rd career victory and his fourth this season, putting the Frenchman in control of his quest to collect an eighth title.
Neuville, who held a 57-second lead overnight over Takamoto Katsuta, also in a Toyota, arrived at the end of the first stage with a severely damaged right rear suspension, having lost one minute over 11 kilometres.
“It’s heartbreaking to end the WE (weekend) like this,” said Neuville on Twitter.
“We had to retire after our suspension broke in SS14 this morning. This is how it is but I feel sad for us & the team.
“I think we all did the job and everybody is working very hard. There’s no one to blame and we will continue to push.”
The seventh round of the WRC takes place in Estonia from July 15-18.
Following the win, Sebastien Ogier tweeted:
????? “It’s been an amazing experience to be here. The support we got from the people has been incredible. Thank you so much, you have a beautiful country! #SafariRallyKenya might be a bit shorter compared to the past but the challenge is still very tough. We enjoyed it!” #WRC pic.twitter.com/ht1DvGPcMh
— Sébastien Ogier (@SebOgier) June 27, 2021