Kalle Rovanpera Credit: Courtesy Photo

Kalle Rovanperä is the winner of the 2022 Safari Rally Kenya.

The Finn led what was a dominating performance from Toyota as they completed a 1-4 finish on Sunday in Naivasha.

It was a first team haul at the Safari in 23 years.

For the 21-year-old Kale, it was a well-calculated Safari Rally win as he stayed out of trouble to maintain his lead from Friday to the end. He sealed the victory with 52.8 seconds advantage over team-mate Elfyn Evans.

Kalle Rovanpera | Credit: Innocent Mutaawe

“It is quite special to have this win here. And also for the team to have a top for it is very special.

“It is quite clear, we can say our car is the strongest at the time. It is really amazing that all our cars came through well and the guys did a special job and that was the key for this weekend. To have a good result.

“The event has been much tougher than last year. We expected it to be difficult but we managed to go through,” said Kalle.

The Finn now holds a commanding lead of the WRC championship with 65 points heading into the next event in Estonia.

“It feels good that I have a big lead. I would have wanted to take some power stage points too because that is the trick since the beginning of the year. But the points looked good.”

Elfyn Evans was equally up to the Safari task as he maintained second position throughout. 

Japanese Takamoto Katsuta has now mastered the art of Safari rally podiums after securing his second in two attempts. He completed the event in third position.

Last year’s Safari rally winner, Sebastien Ogier will curse the puncture on Friday that cost him top spot. He would eventually settle for a fourth overall; sealing the Toyota 1-4.

Hyundai’s Thierry Neuville despite retiring on Saturday managed a fifth position overall. He topped that with maximum points from the Power Stage.

Msport’s Craig Breen struggled through the event but hang on for sixth place followed by Oliver Solberg who as well had a huge share of the Safari rally woes.

In WRC2, Kajetan Kajetanowicz who was debuting in the African event had his own race leading from the start to the end to claim the category victory. 

Kajetan Kajetenowicz | Credit: Innocent Mutaawe

The three-time European champion in the Skoda Fabia was 19 mins, 8.2sec ahead of second-placed Sean Johnston from America.

Kenya’s Maxine Wahoma landed a two-fold victory after winning the WRC3 and becoming the first Kenyan female to win the category.

The WRC heads to Estonia on July 14-17 with the seventh round.

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