Ott Tänak is in the lead of the Saaremaa Rally after the first stages, held in stormy conditions Friday.
WRC2 driver Robert Virves is Tänak's co-driver for the event, the final leg of the domestic rally championship.
Regional daily Saarte hääl noted that the rally, which did not get underway until 5.30 p.m. Friday, took place in particularly challenging conditions, including for spectators, as storms lashed Estonia.
A native of Saaremaa, Tänak was behind Ken Torn (Škoda Fabia RS Rally2) in the first two stages, but overtook in stage three, held on the streets of Kuressaare, getting a 1.1 lead over Torn.
Gregor Jeets (Hyundai i20 N Rally2; +31.4) was third as of the end of Friday.
The second and final day Saturday brings nine more stages, totaling just over 100km in length. This is the 56th time the event has been held.
Tänak this week confirmed he will be rejoining Hyundai for the 2024 season, after a single season with M-Sport Ford, with whom he was won two races, most recently last weekend in Chile.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Siim Boikov