Sebastian Ogier wins 2023 WRC Safari Rally

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MOTORSPORTS Sebastian Ogier wins 2023 WRC Safari Rally

Abigael Wafula 16:00 - 25.06.2023

He lost the title to Rovanpera during last year’s edition of the event.

French rally driver Sébastien Ogier has successfully reclaimed his WRC Safari Rally title after a hard-fought battle between him and defending champion Kalle Rovanperä of Finland.

Ogier clocked 3:30:42.5 to finish ahead of Rovanpera who timed 3:30:49.2. He lost the title to Rovanpera during last year’s edition of the event.

Elfyn Evans (3:33:41.0) completed the podium ahead of Takamoto Katsuta (3:35:47.9), allowing Toyota to make history again with the 1-2-3-4 clean sweep, just like last year.

M-Sport driver Ott Tänak led the event after Thursday’s super special stage, albeit by just 0.1 seconds over Ogier, and as soon as the rally hit the wilderness Ogier’s Toyota moved to the front.

It was a thrilling showdown since then as Ogier led the team closely followed by Rovanperä who similarly remained second all weekend long.

There was an unexpected surprise for Ogier as his chasing team-mate Rovanperä turned up the wick on Sunday’s first stage, halving his deficit to reignite the fight for the lead.

Ogier responded in style on the very next stage, recovering his lost time and taking charge despite facing the challenges.

A third-place finish for Evans was a great one since he beat Katsuta who will be unfortunately missing out on a podium finish for the first time in his WRC career.

Meanwhile, a second place overall and third on the power stage allows Rovanperä to maintain the lead once again in the championship, which now stands at 37 points over Thierry Neuville. However, it is just five points over second-placed Neuville.