WRC

Safari Rally: Subaru final report

Safari Rally of Kenya Final Result, 14 July 2002 Just 14 of Friday's 48 starters left Park Ferme today to attempt the three remaining stages of the 2002 Safari Rally. Today's final leg took the competitors over 262kms of punishing...

Safari Rally of Kenya Final Result, 14 July 2002

Just 14 of Friday's 48 starters left Park Ferme today to attempt the three remaining stages of the 2002 Safari Rally.

Today's final leg took the competitors over 262kms of punishing Kenya terrain, and then back to the finish ramp in the centre of Nairobi.

Scotland's Colin McRae won the rally. It was his second consecutive WRC victory this year and the record-breaking 25th win of his career. Peugeot's Harri Rovanpera finished second and Thomas Radstrom was third for Citroen

In the Group N competition, there were dramatic final leg retirements from the two leading competitors, Marcos Ligato and Toshihiro Arai. Victory instead went to Karamjit Singh, with Rudi Stohl second, and Kailesh Chauhan - the only African finisher - third at the wheel of a Subaru Forester.

Stage Reports

CS10 0658hrs Ntulele - Kedong (106.56km)

Fastest Time: C.McRae (Ford) 51:32.1

The battle for the lead raged on between Colin McRae and Harri Rovanpera. The Finn was 2m26s behind at the close of play yesterday, a significant margin on a European rally, but a narrow squeak by Safari standards. McRae was quick to respond to the threat and was quickest through the section, Rovanpera was second fastest, but the Scot pulled ahead by 45 seconds to give himself a little more of a comfort zone. After a terrible final service last night, when he collected 11m30s of penalty time for checking-out late, Markko Martin's luck showed no sign of improving.

At the start of the section Markko and co-driver Michael Park realised they had been given the wrong set of pace notes by their service team. Martin pushed on nevertheless, receiving instructions from his spotter helicopter and doing his best to remember the stage from the recce. A grim morning too for Juha Kankkunen, he left service late, collected 1m30s of penalty time, and had to stop on the stage to top-up his engine oil. He finished 12th, behind three Group N cars.

CS11 0915hrs Il Damat - Nailongilok - (74.45km)

Fastest Time: Panizzi (Peugeot) 45:26.6

Gilles Panizzi was fastest, with Markko Martin second and Colin McRae third. Panizzi recovered well after the previous stage, when a high-speed collision with a bird ripped off his car's roof-scoop and funnelled clouds of dust into the cockpit. Rovanpera was fourth, but lost another 40 seconds to McRae. With just one stage remaining, he was 3m650s off the lead. Thomas Radstrom, holding third overall for Citroen, was fifth and kept his place secure.

He was 15 minutes behind Rovanpera, but a comfortable 5 minutes ahead of Markko Martin. Juha Kankkunen added suspension problems to his list of woes, but soldiered on to complete the stage and reach service. All change In the Group N competition. At the start of the day Ligato led, with Arai second and Singh third. But on CS11 Toshi Arai retired with an engine problem, Ligato lost time with a suspension problem and Proton driver Karamjit Singh shot past both into the class lead.

CS12 1149hrs Serabei - Kerrerie (81.84km)

Fastest Time: Loeb (Citroen) 36:35.1

No last stage upsets. Colin McRae, Harri Rovanpera and Thomas Radstrom all took things relatively gently to preserve their positions and bring the cars back in one piece. Sebastien Loeb put in a spirited last-minute effort to try and snatch fourth overall form Markko Martin. But although Loeb won the stage, he was still 20 seconds adrift of the Estonian, who also pushed hard, and the Frenchman settled for fifth.

-swrt-

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Colin McRae , Toshihiro Arai , Harri Rovanpera , Gilles Panizzi , Sébastien Loeb , Thomas Radstrom , Juha Kankkunen , Rudi Stohl , Michael Park , Karamjit Singh , Markko Martin
Teams Citroën World Rally Team