Despite some sickness, Kalle Rovanpera was able to produce a measured drive to consolidate his lead at the Safari Rally with a gap of 40.3s over Elfyn Evans.
Despite a morning in which the teams had a quieter time, the afternoon would prove to be more perilous. The final two stages would see downpours which meant that gripped levels dropped immensely. Rovanpera would also be affected by sickness but still fared well in the extreme conditions, he out-paced the field by 11.2s and 13.2s on the final two respective tests to top the sheets by 40.3s.
Evans however had a more difficult time as the Welshman suffered another puncture on SS10 and having a near miss with a tree due to poor visibility. Evans would end the day 35.3s ahead of his Japanese teammate Takamoto Katsuta who started the day second after a time amendment on Friday.
Although Katsuta took some time to get going in the morning, two deflated tyres and an overshoot of a corner were the only real obstacles that he experienced which means he is currently on course for a podium.
Thierry Neuville had shown real speed in the morning to be in the top three but SS13 would provide more bad luck for the Belgian. A stall at the start was compounded by a collision with a tree which ended the Hyundai driver’s day. To make Hyundai’s day worse, Ott Tanak had retired due to a propshaft failure in the morning tests.
Neuville will start the final day in fifth as Sebastien Ogier managed to claw back some time with the rate of attrition others were experiencing. The Frenchman is only 1m 22s back from Katsuta with Oliver Solberg completing the top six.
Craig Breen is Ford’s leading driver despite nursing a rear suspension issue, however Gus Greensmith rolled his car and had to retire due to the damage. Adrien Fourmaux wasn’t any luckier as he was side-lined with broken suspension.