Local hero takes the lead in Estonian ERC rally – “Winning would be a dream come true”

The dominance of the home country's drivers continued in the Estonian ERC rally on Saturday afternoon.
Georg Linnamae. Photo: Redbull Content Pool
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After seven special stages, Toyota driver Georg Linnamäe leads the rally. The Estonian double lead in the home rally is completed by Škoda driver Robert Virves, who is four seconds behind his compatriot.

“I don’t know if it’s the surface, but it just feels like we’re missing something or we’re missing confidence, but everyone is struggling. It’s a home rally for me, I’m from Tartu, so winning would be a dream come true for sure,” Linnamäe said.

“To be fair, it’s more about having fun because that’s when things usually go better. There’s no extra stress; we just try to do our best,” Virves commented.

Finnish driver Mikko Heikkilä remains in third place, 20.1 seconds behind the leader. Following Heikkilä are Nikolay Gryazin, Miko Marczyk, and Martins Sesks.

  • “I think we lost it in a chicane when we were braking and I spun. Without that, it would’ve been a really good stage,” summed up Heikkilä, who had set the fastest time on the previous special stage.

Mads Østberg is in seventh place. However, Jon Armstrong is close behind, just three-tenths of a second away. ERC series leader Hayden Paddon, who suffered a radiator issue in the morning, has climbed to ninth place.

The Estonian ERC rally continues on Saturday with three more special stages after the service break. The rally concludes on Sunday.

Standings in the Estonian ERC rally after SS7/14:

1.Georg LinnamäeToyota49:11.2
2. Robert VirvesSkoda+4.0
3.Mikko HeikkiläToyota+20.1
4. Nikolay GryazinCitroen+25.0
5. Miko MarczykSkoda+27.8
6.Martins SesksToyota+40.3
7.Mads ØstbergCitroen+40.8
8. Jon ArmstrongFord+41.1
9.Hayden PaddonHyundai+58.8
10.Andrea MabelliniSkoda+1:05.6
11.Mathieu FranceschiSkoda+1:08.9
12.Gregor JeetsToyota+1:11.5
13.Teemu AsunmaaSkoda+1:25.0
14.Frank Tore LarsenVW+1:36.3
15.Yuki YamamotoToyota+1:38.2

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