Wednesday | 21 Jul 2021

Østberg content despite Estonia brake gremlins

Mads Østberg says he took pride from a battling Rally Estonia performance which landed him second place and kept him firmly in touch with the WRC2 championship race.

The Norwegian trailed his series leading countryman Andreas Mikkelsen by 16.7sec at the finish of what had been another fraught event. Citroën star Østberg is 11 points behind the Škoda driver, but has a round in hand over Mikkelsen, who has started five rallies.

“It was a big battle in Estonia,” said Østberg, “that’s for sure. It’s been a really good weekend to be honest. I’m quite happy with our pace and I think we led the pace for the majority of the rally and we are very proud of that.”

Østberg’s speed was stymied by a return of the brake problems which he’d incurred aboard the C3 Rally2 earlier this season.

“The problem is related to the calipers,” said Østberg. “We don’t know why, but I lose the brake pedal, it changes the brake balance and makes the car very difficult to drive. In some ways, I have to be thankful for the ruts – they helped us get through some of the corners when the [brake] pedal had gone.

Video: Rally Estonia WRC2 highlights

“We have to solve this very, very quickly. We can see the new car has the pace when it’s working, but we still have some challenges.”

Despite those difficulties, Østberg maintained his 100 per cent podium record through this season. Having won WRC2 in Croatia and finished third in Portugal, he scored a second consecutive runners-up spot in Estonia following his last outing in Sardinia.

His next scheduled WRC2 event is Acropolis Rally Greece in September.