World Rally Championship

Epic double podium in Estonia

Thierry/Martijn and Esapekka/Janne finish second and third

Thierry/Martijn and Esapekka/Janne finish second and third

We have taken a fantastic double podium at Rally Estonia, the eighth round of the 2023 FIA World Rally Championship.

All three of our crews finished in the top five. Thierry/Martijn and Esapekka/Janne both led the rally at some point and secured second and third place respectively. Teemu/Mikko claimed a remarkable fifth in their first-ever WRC event in our i20 N Rally1 Hybrid.

“It was important to have a clean weekend here in Estonia and that is exactly what we have achieved,” said our Team Principal Cyril. “We built on the good work that was done in preparation for this event, which has not always shown the strength of our car. It has certainly paid off with another strong result and two podiums finishes.”

Belgians back on form
Thierry/Martijn inherited the lead of the rally on the first stage on Friday, but lost some ground in the afternoon loop. Sadly, their victory hopes took a hit with a slow puncture on Saturday.

They turned their attention to keeping those behind them at bay, and despite some late drama with their hybrid boost on the Power Stage, Thierry and Martijn successfully brought home second place.

“I am very happy to finish on the podium; this is a good boost of motivation for both the team and myself,” said an elated Thierry. “I have never been so fast at rallies like this. Looking forward to Finland, this is a great sign as we can clearly see we have improved our car on high-speed gravel.”

Strong finish for the Finnish
Esapekka/Janne were locked in an entertaining three-day battle for third place, with the gap to the car behind ebbing and flowing throughout the rally. The Finns were frequently on the limit as they successfully saw off the challenge to bring home their fourth podium finish of the season.

“This is the first time I have been flat out for three days in a row fighting with someone – Elfyn was really fast here last year so it was fantastic to win this battle,” said Esapekka. “We have done a good job on the testing and development of the car. There is still work to do but as we can see, we are heading in the right direction.”

Teemu/Mikko impressed on their first rally with our team, demonstrating great potential and consistency across the event. Although they may have been in the deep end, they delivered exactly what was expected of them and brought home a solid fifth place.

“It is a really special feeling to finish fifth,” admitted Teemu. “I’m sure Craig has been following my weekend. We were able to make good progress with our driving and experience of the car, and we were improving our times stage by stage.”

“Teemu and Mikko have also done a very good job,” added Cyril. “There was lots for Teemu to learn, particularly the hybrid system, and he didn’t put a foot wrong. We look forward to seeing what they can accomplish in Finland.”

The WRC heads north for round nine of the season, Rally Finland, on August 3-6.


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