President Uhuru Kenyatta on Sunday awarded the 2021 World Rally Championship the Safari Rally winner Sebastian Ogier and his navigator Julien Ingrassia in Naivasha.
The seven-time world rally champion recovered from a suspension trouble on Friday to clinch victory on the final day.
He landed an advantage when event leader Thierry Neuville’s hopes of winnings came to an end after breaking his Hyundai i20 suspension in Sunday’s morning stage.
Toyota’s Takamoto Katsuta would assume the rally lead. But that was gradually sliced by a dominant Ogier who claimed two stages wins on Sunday.
Ogier would finally claim victory by 21.8 seconds becoming the first Safari Rally winner as the event commemorated its return to the World Rally Championship since 2002.
“It’s been an amazing experience to be here. The support we got from the local people was incredible. It might be a bit shorter than the old days, but the challenge is still very tough,” said Ogier.
Japanese Takamoto Katsuta was impressive throughout, finishing second overall for his maiden world rally championship podium.
Hyundai’s Ott Tanak sealed the podium places third despite a series of mishaps through the event.
Ogier now extends his lead in the championship standings to 133 points; 33 points more than teammate Elfyn Evans.
There were also impressive returns for the local drivers. Kenya’s Onkar Rai hang on to his class lead to finish seventh overall and win the WRC3 class. Karan Patel was second and Carl Tundo in third.