It has been a drama filled Friday in Naivasha. Catch up with all the action and incident with DirtFish.
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Well, hello, dark fish rally, friends, it's the end, the end one here at the Safari rally of Kenya and as we all hoped and anticipated, it was a day full of drama.
We will come to the drama at a later point in this review, but the man who had his fair share out there today was very much takamoto cat shooter, but he wasn't the only one to suffer issues shall we say out on the stages: Today George.
You know we're never ever going to come to Safari rally and not see drama, but you know it was quite an exciting day.
It's bizarre how exciting it became there was.
It came in pulses, it came in pulses and dramatic pulses, but but but poor takamoto I mean my goodness me every stage you seem to knock another bit off his car.
Well, let's start with tacklemore.
Shall we uh? You know when he came into service.
He was very much the talk of the media Zone.
Everyone wanted to have a chat with him team bosses, Yani Marty tanak.
Everyone wanted to talk to him, but more apparently everyone wanted to look at his car because he was in the wars Today George.
He was actually I was concerned.
It might have damaged his roll kids because the scrutineer was very keen to look at it at the end of key dong stage, but she resisted.
He said: I'll drive back to server, as you can see it there, which is a reasonable point.
It was he did actually.
He obviously ran through some bushes or trees and the outside of the bodies damaged again, I'm quite sure, just just to put it into perspective that it's not damaged because from what we saw two days ago.
Quite clearly, it can survive anything.
So it's pretty good.
That was, but that was the final stage of the day yeah, as dramas really started for cat Shooters and earlier on.
In the day it was the end of stage three, the middle stage in the look where he was doing really well so one two three four for Toyota: he picks up some damage to the stealing arm.
I think it was and he had to work really hard.
George to reinforce it before that stage yeah, he did really great job.
I saw the repairs and it did actually look quite Splendid I'm, not actually sure how much that would have done, because the steering arms are hugely strong and ultimately they will bend a certain amount and okay, you would always do exactly what he's done, how much good it would do in the end.
I don't know, but let's give them the benefit of the doubt and let's give the reality, because if that had been me, I'd have done exactly the same thing, but but obviously it was strong enough to survive absolutely.
He then came out of service first stage out of service.
He hits sadly a zebra in this stage, which caused more damage to the front left damage to the front right, Body Work damage.
We know with these cars George these new space frame cars I the damage is actually it's a lot easier to have damage that looks more dramatic than it was in the older cars.
It's fabulous for us.
We can make it very dramatic.
You know me I love a little bit of drama out there.
Let's move on to our battle for the talk crew, we have to talk about our leading Toyota driver.
At the end of the day, the Toyotas have once again proven that they are the card to have in a safari rally.
Uh and Sebastian.
Ogier George has that helicopter just lands behind us over there.
Sebastian ogier has once again shown that he is the master of strategic driving.
It's quite amazing, um Carly's doing his best he's doing a good second, but Seb is so calm, so straightforward, so methodical, yeah, unperturbed, unshakable, unflappable and the other word I would use George, perhaps the most important thing he is so disciplined.
Yes, he can stick to his strategy totally totally and convince himself and drive to it, and that is a wonderful thing.
What a great thing for people to see- and you know who notices it.
We talked to him in the media Zone just a few moments ago.
Tell me about the debate and the considerations for that.
Just one spare tire: how much of a gamble was that I? Don't think it was a gamble at all.
Basically, my my reflection was that why taking two spare and thinking that you can push harder and puncture, because if you puncture, then you anyway lose time.
So my idea was these.
Two first stages are not that rough.
They have some pretty hard bass, so not so much loose Rocks coming from the ground, which can be a surprise and and risk of puncture, so I I thought I should manage those one by driving clean and not hitting too much into my tires and having the chance to be lighter.
I will be faster anyway and yeah it paid off and and yeah for sure the team was maybe not super comfortable when I made this decision, but I'm glad they.
Let me- and let me trust my feeling.
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Well, we mentioned how well the Toyota's are doing.
It is a Toyota one, two three at the end of the day and that man you just mentioned the moment or two ago, George Carly, Robin pair first on the road, could have been a difficult day for about their first landlord, isn't quite as punishing here as it is on other rallies, but it could have been a difficult day.
Robin Pera dealt with a challenge exceptionally well today, I think psychologically.
It's always going to be an issue to be first on the road on a gravel rally, but here it really means almost nothing.
I mean it does mean something because the Rally's relatively so short to previous editions.
So it might, there might be a bit of cleaning but ultimately there's other benefits that are very visibly better.
A you know where there's fish fish and we did have fish fish on key dong, a stage completely regraded, but just superficially so it broke through again we saw the freshers, so he had a much better option through there much significantly better than everyone else.
He also has the advantage of he comes along.
The animals get a fright.
This sticking car comes along, it gives them another fright by the third car comes along and the animals start running the traffic Yep they're panicking, and we saw that today.
It's just it's always been the third fourth or fifth card that gets The Battered by animals, never the first and second, you know what, in some places, that's very different.
Quite often I think it happened in the UK George and you never want to be the first car over Evan because of the sheep, and the first car over happened is the one.
That's basically moving the Sheep off the road to carry on the pair I was in fine form earlier on in the media.
Zone I have to be happy to be honest.
I would have wanted to be a bit closer um.
Only this first one of the loop was really tricky both times even on the afternoon when it was drying up between the loop.
There was a lot of low Scrabble to open the road and uh.
Even our second pass.
It up didn't really work so well, because it's so narrow and low speed, let's say so.
The car was working much better on the next two ones, but not not really on the narrow, not our first stage.
If the rain comes down here, it can be just unbelievably challenging yeah.
A small rain is usually fine for me, but when you here have a proper one, it's uh, it's not so easy anymore when you're driving in a lake but uh so 22.8 seconds, separating serbogia at the front from Cali ravenberg around about 43 or so seconds off the lead in third place is Alvin Evans George.
He had his moments.
He hits a bit of wildlife out there as well today, but again, looking at his car in the media, Zone looked really good he's another one.
That's had a strategic approach and has stuck to it.
We talked about this earlier Colin.
That elfin's approach should really reap rewards on this rally.
If he can stick strongly to that strategy, he's done it today had that bit of a moment in key dong, I think it was a hard hole.
Tape went under some bushes.
I was all ready to catch the damage at the end of the stage, nothing not the thing, but on the onboards it looked like he was going through trees.
It was, it was a small shrub.
Wasn't it that he went I guess it was because there was nothing on the car Colin? Well, he was lucky because there was nothing underneath that shrub, oh yeah, quite often as he found out a couple of years ago when he took that cut under a shrub, and there was a massive Rock there.
So a moment of luck- and you know what Alvin Evans deserves a little bit of luck, he's had a lot of bad news.
Well, I think I think his maybe he's a lot today, Colin, you know and I think in Safari rally.
You do make your own.
Like you look at, say, bosier made his lock yeah I mean we made his lock in Spades.
Calardo and Pera are much the same, brilliant drive and an elephant exactly the same yeah and what a reward for the team you know.
You've possibly got a different, slightly different strategies from each driver, which you will have discussed as the team.
They will discuss the strategies and they know that elf is just going to take that little bit more care yeah.
That doesn't always mean that he won't have trouble, but it's just a personal strategy for each and you're quite happy, if you're putting an extra layer of caution in there, because it gives you that Banker just a little bit of extra margin for Elvin Evans out there today.
This is what he told us about his approach.
A little earlier on in the media zone, I'm not taking too many chances out there trying to preserve the car as much as possible, uh trying to keep the guy in the middle of the road at least and uh yeah.
It's been quite okay, A bit of a glance with the bush yeah a bit lucky to get away with that.
One, to be honest, just got a bit surprise: crossroaded and yeah uh.
Thankfully it was soft.
Well, it has been a magnificent day out there for Toyota today, as good as Toyotas there's been Hyundai's day has been again George you're, just a bogey rally for them.
It really is: isn't it you're, cheating, listen, Jerry, Louisville, another issue, and this issue is a really strange one.
We actually caught up with him at the side of the road.
The Top Mountain boat came loose George halfway through the second stage in the loop this afternoon, and that then failed.
It gave him problems to the power steering to the drive shafts he had to retire for the day.
From that point, it's not been a good rally for Hyundai this one over the last two and a bit years.
It hasn't it hasn't, but I mean the the as a manufacturer.
The rally is not in tatters.
No, they can.
They can come back from that, let's see what happens but yeah for Thierry.
Personally, that's bad! A Top Nut on on the stock coming loose, I've, not exactly seen what's come, loose I mean that should just never happen.
Yeah, we did catch up with Sarah a bit about the team boss at the end of the day, and he said you know what Safari does it exposes the weaknesses in the team, the car, the drivers.
He was incredibly honest about things out there, but George as you write, they say it's it's! It's not an unmitigated disaster, because the man who's had a really good day for a Hyundai.
It's quite clearly Air Supply.
It was a really tough start to the event.
With those two.
What you know I know he's been nervous about the car failure possibility with the prop shaft he wants to trade on that.
Don't don't start to feel complacent trade on that keep that pace you're in the right place.
You know this rally is all about there.
I am here, I am at the end of the first day.
Okay, that's that's where I've settled so you've got to hold that position now and then wait for people you're going to keep the pressure on and off the other drivers have to drive fast, who breaks first welcome to dirt fish where we'll teach you how to do this, and this and all you have to do- is click this link, we'll see you soon.
Let's talk very quickly about M sport, not a good day, sadly again for, like tanak, he elected to stop and change his puncture in the stage George he's two and a half minutes off the lead.
Even terms of Championship yep, a Podium is still possible here, but he needs to have things very, very much heading his way tomorrow.
Yeah again again, unfortunately, he's got to keep patience.
I think he's done a great job.
Today he did a great job.
The last two years we've said that already I think he's done.
A great job today stopped and changed that puncture Smart Cookie he's not going to destroy his car he's he he wants to get something in the bank from this, it's quite clear from his strategy and and he's keeping his nose as clean as he can unfortunate with that puncture.
Let's hope that his his luck changes his his strategy.
Works stick to it.
You only need to he's as smart, a cookie as usual in many ways, certainly Pace wise he's capable of absolutely generating that, but that wins in nothing here.
It's all now about strategy, patience and willingness to to go the distance on your on your tactics, simple, as not a bad day, a couple of punches for him, but his first day in Kenya did a solid job, a quick word for a wrc2 and our rally.
Two cars really super job by Gregoire Munster in the fiesta rally to go once again that car is showing that it is now highly competitive in that WRC.
To that rally, two class monster leads over kaitan.
Eventually, you know we can't forget.
Obviously all of us saw back.
He was doing a great job out there in that skoda didn't get through the final stage of the day.
Unfortunately, I'm sure we'll see salberg back in the rally 2 class tomorrow, so George we've had a great day today.
What are you looking forward to tomorrow? Oh rain and sleeping Warrior, a little bit of rain is sleeping Warrior and we are in for an absolute Feast of a rally action folks.
Thank you very, very much for joining us all.
Today, on the opening day, proper of safari rally, kenyas George has said there is a lot.
A lot more to come tomorrow, you know where you've got to be for all the action, the drama, the Jeopardy as it unfolds here.
That's Safari rally Kenya, it is George, see you there.