Kenya: Toyota Gazoo’s Ogier Calls On Lady Luck to Smile at Him at Safari Rally

Nairobi — Eight-time world rally champion Sebastien Ogier says he is looking forward to a challenging but exciting adventure at this weekend’s World Rally Championships (WRC) Safari Rally in Naivasha.

Ogier predicts that all drivers will need a stroke of luck on their side – in addition to their preparedness – in order to cope with what has been touted as the world’s toughest rally.

“We are looking forward…it is going to be a difficult weekend where, for sure, we hope to have luck on our side. We hope we won’t be hit by too many trouble…this time. But yeah…we are happy to be back in Kenya once again,” the Frenchman said.

The Toyota Gazoo driver won the 2021 edition of the Safari Rally, which was making a return to the WRC calendar after a 19-year stint in the motorsport wilderness.

It was a different story all together at last year’s rally where the Frenchman took an early lead only to relinquish it to eventual winner – and teammate – Kalle Rovanpera after encountering puncture troubles.

Ogier said he is determined to avoid a repeat of last year’s events, which dented his title defence, noting that his ultimate objective is to clinch top position at the podium.

“Of course, when I come to any rally the objective is always to win it. We’ll try our best this weekend and as I said, the job we do on the car is important but it is also crucial to have luck on your side. Like I said, it is the sort of a rally where you can be hit with little issues and the roads are quite rough and sometimes, there is nothing much you can do to avoid it,” Ogier said.

The Frenchman, who boasts 57 rally wins and 96 podium finishes in his career, has been undertaking rigorous preparations in readiness for the three-day global showpiece.

“It (recce) has been challenging as you know, the Safari Rally in Kenya. Yeah, it was busy during recce…the routes remain similar. There is still many changes we need to do due to environmental conditions,” he said.

The rally will be flagged off on Thursday by President William Ruto at Uhuru Park ahead of the battle between man and machine in Naivasha across the weekend.

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