Rovanperä escapes the dust clouds to win grueling Safari Rally – gallery

Fesh-fesh – it goes everywhere. Clawing, blinding plumes of sand which create huge dust clouds and gets inside the engine, the radiators, and your eyes if it seeps through a crack in the windows.

The sand almost defines the most grueling, relentless WRC event of the year, the Safari Rally Kenya, which claimed more prisoners than any other this year – only half of the WRC1 field finished as six cars crossed the line.

Just looking at the end result though, you might not have guessed it was so tough for one team: Toyota took a historic 1-2-3-4 result, its first since 1993, when Juha Kankkunen led a top-four lockout for the Japanese firm.

Young Kalle Rovanperä strengthened his grip on this year’s WRC title, taking his fourth win in six events.

“This was the hardest rally I have ever done,” Kalle Rovanperä

“I have to say, this was the hardest rally I have ever done,” the 21-year-old Finn said.

“Of course it is quite important because it is a special event. If you manage to win it, it is quite nice and for Toyota it has been an important race.

“I think it is the toughest because of how much you have to concentrate and manage the car to keep it moving over the fesh-fesh sand, there are so many situations where normally you don’t need to take care.

“Normally all you have to worry about is driving fast, but here you have to manage to get through.”