Mads Østberg og kartleser Toprstein Eriksen kjørte inn til en ny seier i WRC2 under helgens Rally Estland.
med sin Citroën C3 R5 hadde den norske duoen nesten halvannet minutts margin til franske Adrien Fourmaux og Renauld Jamoul i Ford Fiesta R5. Svenske Pontus Tidemand og hans kartleser Patrik Barth endte på 3. plass.
På en fjerdeplass endte Eyvind Brynildsen i sin første VM-runde for året. Han kjørte en Skoda Fabia R5 sammen med Ilka Minor. Ole Christian Veiby og Jonas Andersson deltok også i WRC2 med sin Hyundai i20 R5, men hadde mye trøbbel. Til slutt rullet de på neste siste etappe og måtte bryte.
Best av alle i R5-bil ble norsk-svenske Oliver Solberg med kartleser Aaron Johnston i VW Polo R5. Oliver endte på en 9. plass totalt i løpet og vant WRC3 med nesten ett minutts margin til finske Jari Huttunen i Hyundai I20 R5.
Østberg og Eriksen sluttet på en 10. plass totalt, drøye 38 sekunder bak Solberg/Johnston.
Totalvinner av denne første VM-runden sin Mexico i mars ble hjemmefavoritten Ott Tänak i Hyundai i20 WRC.Craig Breen sørget for dobbert Hyundai ved å ta andreplassen, mens Sebastien Ogier kjørte inn til 3. plass.
PRESSEMELDING fra Mads Østberg:
Mads Østberg and co-driver Torstein Eriksen in Citroen C3 R5 won World Championship Rally (WRC) Rally Estonia category WRC2 this weekend. Rally Estonia, 17 special stages altogether 234 km SS, is the first WRC Rally since lock-down after Rally Mexico in Mars.
With this victory Mads and Torstein did a hattrick in the championship, winning Rally Monte Carlo and Rally Sweden before lock-down.
Mads was leading WRC2 from stage 1 but fell back after a puncture that cost approximately 30 seconds in stage 4. After that Mads and Torstein were winning all stages in WRC2 from SS5 to SS17, controlling the victory. They finished 1 minute 28,4 seconds ahead of Adrien Fourmaux and co-driver Renaud Jamoul, while Pontus Tidemand/Patrik Barth had the last podium position, 2 minutes 50,1 seconds after Mads and Torstein.
“It was very good to start WRC again,” Mads says in a comment. “We had a very clean rally, except for the puncture, that came out of nothing, landing sideways and a bit hard after a jump. WRC2 is a factory supported class, and it is an important target for Citroen, as it is for Torstein and me, to win the championship. We controlled that from SS 6 until finish risking nothing, finished without a scratch in the paint” Mads says with a smile. “WRC2 are using the same type of R5 cars as the privateers in WRC3. There are many strong teams and many good drivers in WRC3. Therefore, it is often a glimpse over to the other class for prestige reasons, I have to say. With the loss from the puncture and starting many cars ahead of the best WRC3 drivers, with a lot of cleaning going on with better grip on the roads, we very early decided to risk nothing in fights that means nothing. We focused on our championship, got a good grip on it, and are super happy with our victory and 10th. position overall. Even if we had a WRC3 car on the position ahead of us on the overall result list.”
Mads and Torstein is leading the championship with 75 points, having competed in 3 of the 4 WRC rallies that has been running this year. Second is Tidemand/Barth with 55 points while Gryazin/Aleksandrow hold third position with 51 points.
Next WRC round is Rally Turkey, 18th. to 20th. of September. Citroen has decided not to enter Mads and Torstein in Rally Turkey. The two remaining rallies for them is Rally Italy/Sardegna and Rally Belgium. Though, there is still possible that there will be changes due to Covid-19.