Sep 12, 2020
REIGNING WORLD CHAMPION OTT TÄNAK STEERED HIS MICHELIN LTX FORCE-EQUIPPED HYUNDAI I20 COUPÉ WRC TO VICTORY ON HOME SOIL AT RALLY ESTONIA ON SUNDAY. IRISHMAN CRAIG BREEN MADE IT A ONE-TWO FINISH FOR HYUNDAI, WHILE SÉBASTIEN OGIER (TOYOTA) ROUNDED OUT AN ALL-MICHELIN TOP-THREE.
After a six-month break due to the Covid-19 pandemic, World Rally Championship action resumed with Rally Estonia, a newcomer to the calendar which – like nearby Rally Finland – is notorious for its extremely fast stages.
The medium-compound Michelin LTX Force M6 took the event’s high average speeds (close to 130kph!) and the changing grip levels caused by overnight showers in its stride to provide a further illustration of its outstanding performance credentials and consistency.
Tänak’s home win was his first with Hyundai Motorsport which celebrated a one-two finish thanks to Breen’s second place.
Toyota/Michelin drivers filled the remaining top-five slots, led by Ogier, who continues to top the provisional championship order, ahead of Elfyn Evans (4th) and Kalle Rovanperä (5th). An early mistake eliminated Thierry Neuville (Hyundai/Michelin) from the scrap for a top finish.
Rally Estonia was the 600th World Rally Championship event since the latter’s creation in 1973. In addition to winning the WRC’s very first fixture (Monte Carlo Rally), Michelin tyres also won the 100th (Monte Carlo, 1982), 200th (Portugal, 1990), 400th (Argentina, 2005) and 500th (Finland, 2012) rounds. Estonia is the 29th different venue to have hosted a Michelin victory.
The next round of the championship will take teams to Turkey on September 18-20 for what promises to be toughest round for tyres of the 2020 campaign.
Rally Estonia – final positions:
1. Tänak/Järveoja (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC), 1h59m53.6s
2. Breen/Nagle (Hyundai i20 Coupé WRC), +22.2s
3. Ogier/Ingrassia (Toyota Yaris WRC), +26.9s
4. Evans/Martin (Toyota Yaris WRC), +41.9s
5. Rovanperä/Halttunen (Toyota Yaris WRC), +1m18.7s
6. Suninen/Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta RS WRC), +2m39.6s
7. Lappi/Ferm (Ford Fiesta RS WRC), +2m52.0s
8. Greensmith/Edmondson (Ford Fiesta RS WRC), +4m53.8s
9. Solberg/Johnston (VW Polo GTi R5), 7m38.5s (1st, WRC2)
10. Ostberg/Eriksen (Citroën C3 R5), +8m17.3s
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