Top step the target in the Baltics
We will return to Rally Estonia next week, determined to rediscover our winning form as we enter the second half of the 2021 WRC season.
“We have spent the short period since Safari Rally to review the issues we have encountered in recent events,” said our Team Principal Andrea. “There is only so much we can do in this time frame, but we head to Estonia with our motivation levels high, and a determination to show what we can achieve.”
We secured a confident 1-2 result on the fast gravel Estonian roads last season, an event that marked the re-start of the 2020 season. Our three WRC crews will be aiming to get the 2021 season back on track after a run of challenging rallies and unsatisfactory results.
“Just because we finished 1-2 in last year’s Rally Estonia doesn’t automatically guarantee results this year,” commented Andrea. “We must work as hard as we can, stay focused and extract all the performance we can from our car”
We will field the same trio of drivers at the event as we did last season, with Ott, Thierry and Craig hoping to get up to speed quickly in their i20 Coupe WRC cars.
Estonians Ott and Martin dominated the 2020 edition of their home rally and return to their local event on the back of a third-placed podium finish in Safari Rally Kenya a fortnight ago.
“It is nice to drive at home, and we had a memorable result last year with our first-ever win for Hyundai Motorsport,” said Ott. “We remain hopeful that we can fight for a similar result this year, as we know the car can be fast in these conditions.”
Thierry, alongside new co-driver Martijn, has impressed with strong performances so far this season, including four podium finishes. The crew was cruelly denied victory in Kenya but have plenty of hunger to rectify that in Estonia.
“It is quite a fast event, with wide roads and a lot of jumps,” explained Thierry. “It is a challenging rally for us, but with the additional insight and advice from Ott, we hope to be fast – just as we have been at many events this season.”
Craig and Paul, in their first event of the year since Croatia Rally, approach one of their favoured rallies, at which they scored their debut podium for the team ten months ago.
“Rally Estonia, for me, is one of the rallies I enjoy the most on the calendar,” said Paul. “Last year, it presented Paul and me with one of the better moments in our career. I am looking forward to going back there again.”