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Hyundai looks for third win in a row at Safari Rally Kenya

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Following back-to-back wins to open the 2024 FIA World Rally Championship, Hyundai Motorsport is targeting another strong result at Safari Rally Kenya, the third round of season. The team’s three-crew line-up is unchanged from Sweden: Thierry Neuville/Martijn Wydaeghe, Ott Tänak/Martin Järveoja and Esapekka Lappi/Janne Ferm.

Hyundai Motorsport is looking to capitalise on its momentum from the first two rounds of the 2024 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) at the third event of the year, Safari Rally Kenya (28-31 March). While the rally has not traditionally been one of the team’s strongest, Hyundai Motorsport will be hoping to produce a positive performance on the gruelling gravel stages.
 
Winding across the wildlife-rich plains of the savannah, Safari Rally Kenya is one of the most iconic rallies on the WRC calendar. The setting is incomparable, with the Kenyan landscape providing a breath-taking backdrop to the high-octane action. On the stages themselves is fesh-fesh, a fine powdery sand that can both damage the car itself and hide deep, rally-ending ruts.
 
As the event has been brought forward from its usual spot in June, there is a greater chance of rain playing a deciding factor. Downpours can cause the dry sandy stages to quickly turn thick and muddy, creating almost impassable conditions.
 
Ready to take on the challenge for Hyundai Shell Mobis World Rally Team will be the same three crews that contested the previous round in Sweden: Thierry Neuville and Martijn Wydaeghe, Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja and Esapekka Lappi and Janne Ferm. With two of the three pairings having already stood on the top step of a WRC podium in 2024, the trio of crews will travel to Kenya feeling confident and aiming to score a solid haul of points. This will be particularly important for Belgians Neuville and Wydaeghe, who currently lead the drivers’ and co-drivers’ championships.
 
Hyundai Motorsport President and Team Principal Cyril Abiteboul said: “Safari Rally Kenya is a historically challenging event for us. The unique conditions increase the potential for cars to succumb to technical issues caused by the surroundings, meaning we have to focus on being robust and reliable first and foremost. We have made a strong start to the season so we must go to Kenya with belief in ourselves. It is the first gravel event of the 2024 season, making it somewhat a testing ground for the 2024 iteration of our car. We have three very experienced crews in our line-up, and with two back-to-back wins, there is certainly a lot of positivity throughout the team right now. Our performance last year showed promise, so we are hoping to take it one step further next week and leave Kenya with a podium finish as a minimum.”