The seventh round of the World Rally Championship begins on Thursday in Estonia, with the 6.23 km run from Shakedown from Abissaare, about thirty kilometers south of Tartu. on the same road, Outtank had a best final time at 2’56.8 in 2020.
Breaking leader of the championship with 34 points ahead of his nearest competitor, Sebastien Ogier starts hostilities on Thursday at 8:01 am (in France). On roads that were still fast but wet due to night storms, the Frenchman finished the first signal at 2’59” 8. Two minutes later, Elfyn Evans started at the same pace and improved his teammate’s time by a tenth.
After his unfortunate retirement on the last day of the Kenya Safari Rally, Thierry Nouvel got off to a more discreet start, pointing nine-tenths behind the Welshman. from his side, Ott Tanak asked himself far fewer questions, and had a great time on his first pass. The Estonian takes the lead for 2″1!
Sixth on the road and still comfortable in fast formation rallies, Kali Rovanpera was announced as Tanak’s main opponent this weekend. From the start, Finn confirms by moving to the temporary second place at six-tenths.
behind the pilots M-Sport is down for now, Pierre-Louis Loubet is gradually finding its marks in the i20 Coupe WRC. after “Impasse” In Kenya, Corsica closes the rally at 6 inches from zero.
After ten competitors registered for WRC2, the first WRCs quickly followed the second round of the morning with Elfyn Evans and Thierry Neuville in particular. Pilot Toyota Gazoo Racing has clearly improved its footprint by grabbing a 3″ 7 in its time. The Belgian copied it by reducing its time by 5″.
With times of 2’55″6 and 2’56″0, Neuville and Evans are already doing better than they were in 2020 when the best time (as noted above) was set by Tänak at 2″ 56’8.
The road condition improves as the lanes pass and times are affected. The Estonian was already the fastest at the end of the first round, breaking last year’s mark at 2’53” 7. After a few minutes, Rovanpera quickly robbed him of first place, who was a tenth ahead of him.
Two hours into his opening rally and a long drive through Tartu Service Park, Ogier reached the starting line. With a time of 2’54” 0, the seven-time world champion climbed onto the provisional podium with a clear improvement of 5″ 8 over his first time.
At the back of the package from the beginning, Teemu Suninen et Gus Greensmith is the first to complete the last forced pass. Behind Rovanpera, Tanak and Ogier, the Finn drops off the 2’55 mark while the Briton remains stuck in ninth, 3 inches off the standard.
While the majority of the WRC drivers attend, Ogier takes the opportunity to improve his time once again and take the lead in ranking at 2’53” 1, while waiting for Rovanperä and Tänak to return.
Unsurprisingly, the pilot Hyundai Motorsport is getting its quality back the way by pushing it back to 1″5 and shattering the 2020 benchmark. With an improvement of 5″ 2, or eight-tenths per kilometer, the weekend is likely to create panic in the counters! In the process, Rovanpera doesn’t give up and seems determined to mark his territory. The young Finn again takes the lead for five tenths with an average speed of more than 131 km / h!
The tenth and final driver in WRC, Lobbett collecting kilometers this morning with a time of 2’58” 0, he failed nine-tenths of his set time on lap three. Greensmith surely got a fourth stroke unlike Corsica, the M-Sport rider improved Eight-tenths of the time without the leaders’ worries.In the right car from the start, Takamoto Katsuta insisted on his side to climb at the end of the morning on the final step of the podium six-tenths behind the fastest final time. Building on the first WRC podium in Kenya, the Japanese are feeling more and more comfortable with every appearance! The top five were completed by two other WRCs from Yaris at Evans and Ogier.
After this last group training session, the rally will start already on Thursday from 19:38 in the 1.64 km super special “Visit Estonia Tartu”. The entire process will be monitored Motorsport.com Throughout the weekend.
Rally Estonia – Shkidon