Kenya’s President William Ruto graced the World Rally Championship Safari Rally on Wednesday in Naivasha as this year’s contest shifted to top gears.
Kalle Rovanpera set the pace in Wednesday's shakedown for the WRC Rally Safari Kenya, where the flying Finn will be looking to extend his championship lead.
Thierry Neuville became the fifth winner across this season's six rallies at the previous round in Italy, trimming defending champion Rovanpera's advantage to 25 points ahead of the Rally Safari Kenya - the midpoint in the 13-round season.
Rovanpera, who won this round last year on the way to a maiden WRC title, went fastest with the second of his three shakedown runs by Lake Naivasha with a time of three minutes, 32.4 seconds.
Ott Tanak was one-and-a-half seconds off the pace in second place, with Sebastien Ogier third and Neuville fourth fastest over an undulating and testing gravel course.