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Skoda’s domain continues in WRC2

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At the demanding Safari Rally Kenya, Škoda crews scored a complete podium in the WRC2 category. In total, six crews with Fabia RS Rally2 and Fabia Rally2 cars finished in the top ten in this category. This challenging event also showed that this year’s battle for the WRC2 title will definitely be a very interesting one.

Toksport WRT teammates Gus Greensmith and Oliver Solberg have made no secret of their ambitions to fight for the WRC2 title in this year’s FIA World Rally Championship season. And it was the Rally Kenya that suggested that there could indeed be an interesting duel between them. The result of the rally looks relatively clear, but the course showed that both teammates will fight really hard and have not only ambition but also the necessary speed.

Gus Greensmith and co-driver Jonas Andersson took the lead in the opening Super Stage and stayed there throughout the rally. However, this was also due to the complications that their rivals Oliver Solberg and Elliot Edmondson suffered. They had to change a wheel in the third stage and suffered a slow puncture in the fourth, so they lost a total of almost four minutes and dropped down the standings. This gave Greensmith a bit of a sigh of relief and a safer ride, which was a real relief for him, given that he was battling flu symptoms. “It was the hardest afternoon I’ve ever had in rallying,” said the 27-year-old Briton at Friday’s finish.

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Strong performance for Greensmith on Kenya stages

Even so, the WRC2 title candidate scored a total of eight fastest times in the special stages. The remaining eleven stages were won by Solberg, who after some trouble in the opening stages committed to a chasing run. Thanks to this, he managed to climb back to second place in the category on Saturday, where he could wait to see if his biggest rival would suffer problems on the treacherous routes of this extremely demanding rally. In addition to the traditional rocks and sandy gravel roads, deep muddy puddles have also increased the trickiness of the special stages due to the spring date of the competition.

In the end, however, Sunday went smoothly from the point of view of the first three crews in the WRC2 category standings, and at the finish it was Greensmith who could celebrate the victory, ahead of Solberg and the third crew in the Škoda Fabia RS Rally2, the duo of Kajetan Kajetanowicz and Maciej Szczepaniak. The Polish duo then won the WRC2 Challenger category, in which they are defending last year’s title.

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Fabia RS Rally2 showed both reliability and performance

“I’m really, really happy. Thank you to the team, they were perfect,” Greensmith said of the successful start to the season. Like Kajetanowicz, the Rally Kenya was the first of his seven nominated events to fight for championship points. Meanwhile, Solberg has already won in Sweden from nomination starts, so after three rounds he has taken part in the WRC2 championship standings thanks to his home triumph and second place in Kenya. “A good start to this season,” Solberg summed up his performance.

Škoda cars have also proven themselves in the hands of other crews in Kenya. Three other duos finished in the top ten of the WRC2 category at the Safari Rally Kenya: Daniel Chwist/Kamil Heller from Poland finished sixth, local Karan Patel/Tauseef Khan were ninth and Aakif Virani/Zahir Shah rounded out the top ten. By the way, WRC2 category winner Greensmith finished in a great sixth place in the overall standings.