The 24-year-old Norwegian beat fellow WRC shining light Thierry Neuville by 26.5s following two days of competition on high-speed gravel stages, which were similar in characteristic to the flat-out Finnish tests.
“I am very happy with the win,” said Ostberg, whose Ford Fiesta RS WRC was co-driven by Jonas Andersson. “It was a good battle between me and Thierry. We did some changes in set-up on the final morning but it didn’t work very well so we changed it back. But it was a very important rally before Finland, we tested different set-ups and got lot of confidence.”
Citroen DS3 WRC driver Neuville was pleased with his performance on his debut in Estonia but said it was difficult to make a comparison between him and Ostberg.
“I was really happy for the weekend,” said the Belgian driver, 24. “We started quite slowly to find the rhythm but then we could get some fastest times. But it was difficult to do a comparison with me and Mads because he was using tyres from a different manufacturer [and not the Michelin tyres we use in the WRC] and he also took some cuts [in the tyres, which is not allowed in the WRC]. But we had some good speed and now I look forward to Finland.”
Georg Gross was the leading Estonian driver in third overall, one place ahead of WRC regular Martin Prokop, who admitted he was frustrated by his speed in his Fiesta RS WRC.
“We found our speed was not so good as we want for Finland so we have to improve a lot,” said Prokop. “But we can compare the data to find where the problem is. Without this rally it could have been very bad for Finland but now we can improve.”
Factory Ford driver Jari-Matti Latvala was also in action in Estonia, winning the historic section of the event in a Ford Escort BDA. Visit soon for more details on his success.
Photo: Jaanus Ree