A puncture during Saturday morning’s Otepää speed test was a minor hindrance for the Norwegian and he soon recovered the category lead before blasting away from rivals.
Sunday saw another increase in pace from the series leader as he steered his Citroën C3 R5 to six consecutive stage wins. By the end of the rally, Østberg was 01min 28.4sec clear of closest rival Adrien Fourmaux and bagged a third haul of maximum points for his championship campaign.
“It's nice to be back and it's been a very good weekend. We have been right where we want to be and we have set some really good pace through the weekend. I'm very happy with our progress,” he said.
Second place was a better result than Fourmaux had anticipated. The Ford Fiesta Rally2 pilot started the final Kambja stage in third. However, a painful last-minute puncture for Nikolay Gryazin gifted him the position and he snatched it with both hands.
“Honestly, I am really happy. To be able to fight with guys with more experience, I am pleased. I want to say a big thank you to the team - it was a long rally and very tough on the car,” said the elated Frenchman.
Gryazin’s disappointment was clear to see as he arrived at the stage finish in his Hyundai i20 R5. He dropped almost three minutes with the puncture and tumbled to fifth.
Pontus Tidemand drove a consistent rally in his Skoda Fabia Rally2 and was there to pick up the pieces when Gryazin hit trouble. His reward was third, 1min 21.7sec behind Fourmaux. Eyvind Brynildsen was fourth in his similar car, a mere 2.1sec adrift of Tidemand after more than two days of flat-out action.
Ole-Christian Veiby had a weekend to forget in Estonia. He restarted on Sunday morning following a double puncture on the previous leg, but his rally went from bad to worse when he rolled his i20 out in the penultimate stage of the event.