• The Toyota Gazoo Racing driver exited the iconic Kenyan event 300 metres to the end of the volcanic ash soil stage
• Navigated by Scott Martin, Elfyn hit a rock on the inside of a fast right bend thus shattering the front right wheel and suspension on his Yaris.
Elfyn Evans’ WRC Safari Rally Kenya aspirations went up in smoke in the initial run of Friday morning’s Kedong (SS3) stage.
The Toyota Gazoo Racing driver exited the iconic Kenyan event 300 metres to the end of the volcanic ash soil stage.
Navigated by Scott Martin, Elfyn hit a rock on the inside of a fast right bend thus shattering the front right wheel and suspension on his Yaris.
Elfyn’s car spun in the next corner and with the damage clear, Evans reversed the car off the road, his day over.
Spain’s Dani Sordo became the second WRC diver to exit at Kedong.
He was less than 4km from the finish when he oversteered sideways off the stage and ploughed through the vegetation before coming to rest in a ditch.
Sordo and co-driver Borja Rozada managed to get their i20 back to the side of the road but sadly joined Elfyn in the list of big-name casualties.
Quotes from top drivers
Car 1. OGIER/INGRASSIA
“Not so much speed actually. It was very slippery and sandy. Absolutely no grip. We had
to make it through.”
Car 33. EVANS/MARTIN
“Very slippery and very narrow and difficult to see with dust on the screen.”
Car 11. NEUVILLE/WYDAEGHE
“This is something. The ruts were much deeper than on the recce. I struggled a bit with
the understeer. The road is so narrow and it is so difficult to find the right line. I tried to
optimise the traction but it was not an easy stage to start with.”
Car 8. TÄNAK/JÄRVEOJA
“It’s tricky. The washer is on all the time with the dust.”
Car 69. ROVANPERÄ/HALTTUNEN
“It’s really difficult. I have not driven in that type of stage before. I had no grip at all in
these really narrow places. You just try and get through it.”
Car 18. KATSUTA/BARRITT
Stalled in a corner. “I don’t know why. I used the clutch and immediately the engine did
not have power and I had no power and the engine stopped. There’s a long way to go. It’s
Car 44. GREENSMITH/PATTERSON
“For me, it felt so rough already. It’s better to be at the front, for sure. Need to do some
work to get the car to turn a bit better.
Car 16. FOURMAUX/JAMOUL
“It’s really slippery, to be honest. Much more than we expected. To protect the car you also
need a stiff set-up. But I think we are too stiff. No grip. We were short in-service time, but the guys did a good job. All is okay...!”
Car 2. SOLBERG/JOHNSTON
“It was a bank after a dip (impact registered on an FIA sensor). It was a very difficult
stage. Much worse than I expected.” The car is reportedly crabbing quite badly away from the stop control.
Car 37. BERTELLI/SCATTOLIN
“I think it was an adventure, so slippery. The ruts were so deep, so we just went through.”