Thursday | 20 Aug 2020

Ogier relishes challenge of Estonia’s high-speed return

Sébastien Ogier believes the pace of Estonia’s roads will leave little margin for error when the FIA World Rally Championship restarts there in two weeks.

The Frenchman heads the championship standings in pursuit of his seventh world title but has never competed in the Baltic country which hosts Rally Estonia (4 - 6 September), the first WRC fixture since lockdown.

Ogier tested a Toyota Yaris there earlier this month and, like virtually all the WRC’s top drivers, will warm-up at this weekend’s Lõuna-Eesti Ralli in the south-east of the country. His one-day test gave a good insight into what can be expected at the WRC’s fourth round.

“I had an extremely fast road, I’ve heard it’s most of the time like this in Estonia so I expect to have some sections like this during the rally,” Ogier explained.

“It’s fun. Definitely this car is always nice to drive on a very fast road but it’s not so often that you are more than 75 per cent of the time full throttle. It’s very high speed and at the same time still not so much room for mistake with this high speed.”

Video: Ogier looks forward to Estonia

Ogier has also completed two days of testing on similarly quick gravel roads in Finland but knows no amount of preparation will ease the task of overcoming world champion and home hero Ott Tänak at Rally Estonia.

“It’s pretty clear who is going to be the benchmark here in Estonia so I think for everybody the target will be to try to follow him and fight with him if we can,” added Ogier.

“Let’s see which kind of conditions we get at the beginning of September here. We all know that starting first [in the running order] is sometimes difficult. So let’s hope the weather in September will maybe help us so we don’t have too much disadvantage and then let’s see what we can do.”

• Full coverage from Rally Estonia will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.

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