Ogier off to a flier in opening Kenya special

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Sebastien Ogier steered his Toyota to an opening special success as world rally returned to Kenya after an absence of two decades
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Seven-time world champion Sebastian Ogier got off to a flier in the world rally championship's return to Kenya after two decades, landing the opening special on Thursday.

This year's return to East Africa sees a shorter challenge than the last time the championship visited -- the 2002 event covered 1,010 km across 12 stages compared with 320.19 km over 18 special stages this time.

The sixth leg of the season saw Ogier get swiftly down to business outside Nairobi as the season leader outpaced fellow Toyota stablemate Kalle Rovanpera of Finland by 0.3sec.

Welshman Elfyn Evans was third at 0.7sec in the 4.8km special around the northern district of Kasarani as he outpaced Estonian Ott Tanak in a Hyundai.

Friday sees the action heat up after Thursday's opener with six special stages totalling more than 120km just northwest of the capital.

Leading standings after Friday's 4.84 km special stage:

1. Sebastien Ogier (FRA/Toyota) 3min 21.5sec, 2. Kalle Rovanpera (FIN/Toyota) at 0.3sec, 3. Elfyn Evans (GBR/Toyota) 0.7, 4. Ott Tanak (EST/Hyundai) 2.5, 5. Thierry Neuville (BEL/Hyundai) 5.0, 6. Takamoto Katsuta (JPN/Toyota) 5.6, 7. Gus Greensmith (GBR/M-Sport Ford)6.1, 8. Oliver Solberg (SWE/Hyundai)7.9, 9. Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA/M-Sport Ford) 9.0, 10. Adrien Fourmaux (FRA-BEL/M-Sport Ford)9.6, 11. Dani Sordo (ESP/Hyundai) 10.5, 12. Martin Prokop (CZE/M-Sport Ford) 18.1

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