Ott Tänak took a clean sweep before a home crowd, winning all eight stages at the Otepää winter rally over the weekend.
Tänak was ahead of second placed driver Georg Linnemäe in a Hyundai i20, by 2 minutes and 44 seconds.
The Estonian and his co-driver Martin Järveoja used the race, around Estonia's winter capital, Otepää, as a warmer for their Ford Puma 1 for round two of the WRC championship in Sweden, which starts Thursday.
Tänak said post-race that: "In any case, it was useful to take part. We were very lucky with the circumstances, with a serious winter rally at the end. I'd say conditions were even slightly difficult, with quite a bit of snow."
"It wasn't too easy to drive, but without this rally it would have been much more difficult in Sweden. Experiencing tough circumstances here provides plenty of data. Our direction is right, but there is still work to be done – though this are getting better," he went on, while Järveoja agreed with the summation.
At the same time, Tänak said he does not believe attending smaller races in between main WRC events will be a new norm any time soon, adding that he and Järveoja took part in Otepää simply because the car was still new to them, after joining M-Sport Ford last last year.
The race represented the opening stage of the domestic championship, which will also see the South Estonia rally in summer. Rally Estonia itself, while it was formerly part of the domestic series, has been a full WRC calendar event since 2020, and takes place in July.
Tänak and Järveoja won all eight stages of the rally, as noted with Georg Linnemäe in second place with his co-driver James Morgan (U.K.).
Gregor Jeets and Timo Taniel ((Škoda Fabia Rally2) were third, Latvian pair Emils Blums and Didzis Eglitis (Mitsubishi Lancer Evo IX) fourth.
Rally Sweden starts this Thursday, February 9.
Tänak and Järveoja joined M-Sport Ford late in 2022 after leaving Hyundai, a team they won five WRC races with over three seasons.
The pair won the 2019 world championship.
Editor: Andrew Whyte
Source: ERR Sport