Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen won WRC Rally Estonia 2022
Sunday, 17 July, was the last day of Rally Estonia, the seventh round of FIA World Rally Championship. The total of six stages and 77.98 stage kilometres were passed on Sunday.
WRC Rally Estonia, which ended with the PowerStage near picturesque Leigo Lakes, was won by Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Haltunen (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1), who owned unique victory trophies made of precious metal of old mobile phones and the traditional winners' helmets of Rally Estonia. It was their fifth victory of the season and the second consecutive Rally Estonia victory. The Finns already increased their lead in the World Cup scoring over their closest pursuers to 83 points.
"We had a good weekend overall. The fight for the first place started with these guys (Evans and Tänak) as soon as we opened the road. Elfyn kept pushing. Nice weekend, good race and cool stages.
I don't think I've ever seen rain like this anywhere before. It seemed like every time we had a crossing or a break, the sun was shining, but when we went to the start line, it was always raining. Quite extreme conditions at times," Rovanperä, who won the seventh World Rally Championship in his career, said at the press conference of Rally Estonia.
The second place trophies were received by the teammates of the Finns Elfyn Evans / Scott Martin (Toyota GR Yaris Rally1) on the podium located on Tartu City Hall Square. The local favourites Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja (Hyundai i20 N Rally1) got the third place at the World Rally Championship held in Estonia.
"As Kalle said, we have never seen such changeable weather before. We have driven in Wales, where it always rains, but here it rained and then it did not and then poured, I have never driven such a rally in Estonia before. It was challenging and you didn't know what the next stage was going to be. You didn't know where the mud was because the ground kept changing. Different places had received different amounts of water, so it made our work difficult," Tänak summed up Sunday’s rally day at the press conference of Rally Estonia.
In the WRC2 category Andreas Mikkelsen / Torstein Eriksen (Škoda Fabia Rally2 evo) took the class victory at WRC Rally Estonia. The best Estonian in the R5 car class was Georg Linnamäe (Volkswagen Polo GTI R5), who together with the British co-driver Craig Drew finished in the seventh place (+6:02.2).
The Finns Sami Pajari / Enni Mälkönen (Ford Fiesta Rally3) took the victory in the Junior WRC class, who outraced Robert Virves (Ford Fiesta Rally3) driving on his home roads and his Swedish co-driver Julia Thulin by 14.9 seconds, by summing up 24 stages. Virves made history of Junior WRC by taking one stage win record from none other than Sébastien Ogier. The Frenchman had won 16 stages in one rally during his Junior WRC career, Virves though won as many as 17 out of 24 stages of WRC Rally Estonia.
Final ranking of WRC Rally Estonia
1. Kalle Rovanperä/ Jonne Halttunen 2:54:29.0
2.Elfyn Evans / Scott Martin +1:00.9
3. Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja +1:55.7
4. Thierry Neuville / Martijn Wydaeghe +3:53.3
5.Takamoto Katsuta / Aaron Johnston +4:13.4
6. Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm +4:49.2
7. Adrien Fourmaux / Alexandre Coria +5:09.2
8. Andreas Mikkelsen / Torstein Eriksen +11:01.8
9. Teemu Suninen / Mikko Markkula +11:27.1
10. Emil Lindholm / Reeta Hämäläinen +13:02.8