A bummer for Estonian fans, rally celebrity Markko Märtin was forced to give up his place as defending champion of Rally Estonia this weekend.
After a tough race, Norwegian Mads Ostberg and his Swedish codriver Jonas Anderssoniga (Ford Fiesta) took first place with a 24-second lead, leaving Märtin and codriver Kristo Kraag (Ford Focus) in second place. "There was nothing to do, Mads was faster. Yesterday we had feeling that we can fight for the win. Today it was different," said Märtin, blaming mechanical problems.
Martin Prokop and Michal Ernst from the Czech Republic finished third overall and first in the Group N standings (Ford Fiesta S2000).
Märtin managed the fastest speed in the first two stages of day one. However, in the third and final stage of the day, Märtin came in 17th. He called it a tactic, saying that he meant to avoid being first on the slippery roads on the second day of the event.
But Ostberg was undefeated through all six stages of the second day. "[I] can't be happier, everything worked well for us. Winning here in Estonia feels good especially when Markko was in start. Markko was very fast and the competition was just great," the Rally Estonia website quoted Ostberg as saying.
Rally Estonia is the fourth race of Estonia's national rally championship and the second race of the Baltic championship.