Estonian duo dominates ERC rally, Heikkilä falls behind – “I cannot match the speed with him”

The home country's drivers are dominating the Estonian ERC rally after five special stages.
Robert Virves
Robert Virves. Photo: @World / Red Bull Content Pool
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Robert Virves, driving a Škoda, took the rally lead before the midday service on Saturday. Virves, from Saaremaa, set two consecutive fastest times, edging 1.5 seconds ahead of Toyota driver Georg Linnamäe.

“In the morning on the first one we lifted the right side slightly. Whereas on this one, we were lying on (co-driver James Morgan‘s) side, so I am a bit lighter than him. It’s good to be in these battles. The last one was not very enjoyable but we’ll wait to see (Linnamäe’s) time.”, Virves commented.

“We had a slight drizzle, at the end our car is quite low so in the ruts it is basically impossible,” Linnamäe remarked.

Mikko Heikkilä, in third place, has slightly fallen behind the pace of the Estonian duo. Heikkilä is 14.8 seconds behind the leader.

“Disappointed, (Virves) is flying. I cannot match the speed with him, I was trying. In a few place we’ve been a bit careful.”, Heikkilä said.

Nikolay Gryazin is in fourth place, followed by Miko Marczyk and Martins Sesks. The top eight also include Jon Armstrong and Mads Østberg.

ERC leader Hayden Paddon had problems in the morning when a jump landed hard on the nose. Paddon is in 12th place, 54.4 seconds behind the leader.

Standings in the Estonian ERC rally after SS5/14:

1.Robert VirvesSkoda18:50.8
2. Georg LinnamäeToyota+1.5
3.Mikko HeikkiläToyota+14.8
4. Nikolay GryazinCitroen+20.0
5. Miko MarczykSkoda+21.0
6.Martins SesksToyota+25.1
7.Jon ArmstrongFord+33.5
8. Mads ØstbergCitroen+36.0
9.Andrea MabelliniSkoda+46.6
10.Mathieu FranceschiSkoda+50.5
11.Gregor JeetsToyota+53.2
12.Hayden PaddonHyundai+54.4
13.Teemu AsunmaaSkoda+1:02.4
14.Frank Tore LarsenVW+1:11.9
15.Kaspar KasariFord+1:32.3

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