On the mid-season mark, Toyota Gazoo Racing provisionally takes the lead within the constructors’ championship with 59 lengths forward of its rival Hyundai. Topped with 5 victories in six rallies, the Japanese crew even depends on three consecutive successes on gravel (in Portugal, Sardinia and Kenya) earlier than arriving in Estonia. On the Baltic levels with the ultra-fast profile the place the problem shall be distinctly completely different from the earlier occasions, Toyota nevertheless has two successes, due to Ott Tänak, on the occasion utilized in 2018 and 2019 as a promotional occasion for the WRC.
Having moved to Hyundai since, the 2019 World Champion didn’t miss his assembly at dwelling final 12 months by dominating the debates and even advances this week as the massive favourite to his succession regardless of the interval. troublesome that it goes by means of. Regardless of this benefit on paper, Jari-Matti Latvala and his troops wish to proceed their good streak and beat the percentages this week. To do that, they took benefit of the assessments carried out earlier than the rally to right sure particulars by engaged on particular factors earlier than the beginning.
“The season has been superb for us to this point and now we have now to maintain working as effectively throughout the second half of the 12 months. Rally Estonia is a really completely different problem than Kenya: It’s a few matter of pace, ” recalled the Finn earlier than discussing some areas for enchancment. “We all know it will not be straightforward to win there, however I positive hope we will battle for the highest spots as soon as once more. In our testing we centered on the smaller roads and extra technical, which was a little bit of our weak spot final 12 months, and I believe we’re enhancing in that space. ”
A stable chief within the drivers’ championship, Sébastien Ogier skims over the debates and has a collection of successes this 12 months. With 133 factors already pocketed, a mean of over 22 items per rally, the Gapençais had not proven such domination for the reason that Volkswagen period, the place he actually marched on the competitors. “Successful rallies proper now within the WRC is troublesome as a result of the competitors may be very powerful, so I am very proud of our season to this point,” he congratulated himself.
Winner in Sardinia and Kenya, the place he however swept within the first stage, the seven-time World Champion must deal as soon as once more with this drawback this Friday, however feels able to face the Estonian specials on which he needed to contend. ‘elsewhere clinched third place final 12 months.
“Rally Estonia is a problem, particularly if we open up the street, however I’ll do my greatest to maintain scoring huge factors. The terrain will definitely be rather a lot smoother than in Kenya, so we will actually give attention to driving and looking for the bounds, ” mentioned the Frenchman who had additionally completed greatest performer in 2020 with 5 greatest occasions (tied with Rovanperä).“It is all the time a tricky problem to be on the restrict on roads as quick as we have now in northern Europe, however I believe it is a problem that each rider appreciates.”
Relegated to 34 Gapençais items, Elfyn Evans skilled an actual setback in Kenya after a really common begin to the season. “Kenya hasn’t been a giant rally for me by way of championship factors, however we have now to place that apart and give attention to doing our greatest in Estonia. ”
Like his boss, the Welshman has the sensation that the work achieved over the last assessments can solely be helpful to the Yaris WRC, which is already performing effectively in the sort of occasion.
“Regardless that there have been some very excessive pace sections in Kenya, Rally Estonia has a really completely different character. The sort of levels we have now there [en Estonie] actually brings out one of the best of this technology of vehicles, and driving the Yaris WRC is all the time a unbelievable pleasure on roads like these, ” he talked about. “We all know that our automotive’s base is mostly superb within the excessive pace sections, however there are some things that we did not repair 100% for Estonia final 12 months, so in testing we have now tried to enhance the automotive as a lot as doable and put together in addition to doable. “
For his half, Kalle Rovanperä has struggled to search out his rhythm since leaving the street in Croatia, with out being spared like his current retirement. This week, the younger Finn is hoping to reverse the pattern by utilizing his expertise, particularly throughout his seasons in Latvia, to play the main roles once more.
“I’ve all the time favored quick rallies just like the one in Estonia. I’ve pushed rather a lot within the Baltic states they usually have the identical sort of quick and clean roads as in Finland. It fits me rather well. It is vital. to trust in your automotive and your self on a rally like this, in any other case you possibly can waste loads of time, ” highlighted the winner of the Shakedown performed this Thursday. “I am actually wanting ahead to turning issues in a greater course for us within the second half of the season, and I believe Estonia could be a good occasion for that. I hope we have now a very good feeling and a rally clear, and that we will begin to have good outcomes once more. “No Video(s) Found