7th round, Rally Estonia
Rovanpera becomes the youngest WRC event winner
After having travelled to Africa for Safari Rally Kenya, FIA World Rally Championship returned to Europe, for the fast gravel stages of Rally Estonia.
Kalle Rovanpera and Jonne Halttunen (Toyota Yaris WRC) claimed their first career victory and the Finn became, at the age of 20 years 9 months and 17 days the youngest driver to win a WRC round.
It is worth noting that before Rovanpera, the youngest driver to ever win a WRC round, was his current team principal, Jari-Matti Latvala.
This was Toyota’s fifth consecutive and sixth win out of 7 events so far and the Japanese outfit extended its lead in the Manufacturers championship from Hyundai Motorsport, to 59 points.
Irishmen Craig Breen-Paul Nagle finished second, in their first gravel event behind the wheel of the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC, since Rally Estonia 2020.
By finishing third, Thierry Neuville-Martijn Wydaeghe (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) claimed their fifth podium for 2021.
Due to their fourth place, Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia (Toyota Yaris WRC) extended their championship lead from Elfyn Evans-Scott Martin, who were fifth, to 39 points.
Finns Teemu Suninen-Mikko Markkula claimed their first top-6 results, whilst Pierre Louis Loubet-Florian Haut Labourdette (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) earned their first points, by finishing 7th.
The winners of WRC3, Alexey Lukyanuk-Yaroslav Fedorov (Skoda Fabia Rally2) were eighth overall.
The top-10 was completed by Andreas Mikkelsen-Ola Floene (Toksport, Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo) and Mads Ostberg-Torstein Eriksen (TRT, Citroen C3 Rally2), who were the fastest crews in WRC2.
Local heroes Ott Tanak-Martin Jarveoja (Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC) who began the event as favorites for the win, retired during the first day, due to suffering two punctures after going off in a field, whilst in the previous stage, they had another puncture, as well.
Length: 314,16 χλμ.
Final Classification – Top 10
1 K. Rovanpera-J. Halttunen Toyota Yaris WRC
2 C. Breen-P. Nagle Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +59.9
3 T. Neuville-M. Wydaeghe Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +1:12.4
4 S. Ogier-J. Ingrassia Toyota Yaris WRC +1:24.0
5 E. Evans-S. Martin Toyota Yaris WRC +2:07.1
6 T. Suninen-M. Markkula Ford Fiesta WRC +7:07.3
7 P.L. Loubet-F.H. Labourdette Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC +8:48.3
8 A. Lukyanuk-Y. Fedorov Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo (1st WRC3) +10:16.1
9 A. Mikkelsen-O. Floene Skoda Fabia Rally2 evo (1st WRC2) +10:29.9
10 M. Ostberg-T. Eriksen Citroen C3 Rally2 (2nd WRC2) +10:46.6
Fastest times: Tanak 9, Rovanpera 8, Neuville 5, Breen-Ogier 1
Leader/S.S.: 1 Rovanpera-Halttunen, 2 Tanak-Jarveoja, 3 Breen-Nagle, 4-24 Rovanpera-Halttunen
Rally leader/stage: 1-8 Neuville, 9-17 Ogier, 18-19 Evans, 20 Ogier