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Elfin Evans and Scott Martin led Rally Estonia on an afternoon stage in Tartu after claiming four stage wins in their Toyota GR Yaris Rally1.

The British pair, leading by two tenths from a third after Thursday night’s super special in the host city of Tartu, surged forward in Friday’s first 24.35 kilometer Pepsiere test, the most along the seventh inning. FIA World Rally Championship.

Evans of Wales topped the clocks in the next three legs to reach serve at half-time with a 12.5-second lead over host hero Od Tannock.

“Overall good,” Evans said. “The car is working well and I feel confident behind the wheel. I should have it this afternoon. He [the roads] It may sound so different that you can’t take it for granted.

“It wasn’t a good feeling in the first stage because I wasn’t fully rested, but in the later stages I was more comfortable and more used to the pace,” Evans said, like all top contenders. , driving a next-generation Rally1 hybrid car on high-speed dirt for the first time.

Thanak, who was the same as his teammates at the Hyundai i20 N Rally1, spent the morning tweaking his car’s settings in an effort to improve grip. The Estonian driver felt that his car lacked power in the first game, but the problem resolved itself. He later admitted that he was initially wrong and made his manipulation worse.

“We made some changes and basically came back,” Tanak said. “I drive very hard, but it’s like fighting and not driving fast. I was having a great lunch and will be going back!” he says.

FIA World Rally Championship leader and road rookie Calle Rovenpere trailed a further 6.2 seconds to third place in his GR Yaris and overcame loose rocky paths on a mostly dry road surface. The leading trio occupied the first three places in the four stages.

Over 20 separated Finland from Thierry Neuville in fourth place. The Belgian overcame problems in the final stages and went too far in hardening his i20 N, losing grip in the process.

2.6 seconds ahead for the Esapeake Luppi, who reported brake problems on his GR Yaris all morning. He couldn’t brake with his left foot and had to change his riding style.

Frenchman Adrien Fourmaux enjoyed a fast road in his Ford Puma Rally1 and moved from 12th to sixth, just ahead of Takamoto Katsuta’s GR Yaris. The Japanese got off to a steady start after Thursday’s downhill, but confidence picked up as the morning progressed.

Gus Greensmith has yet to find his best pace in the eighth, ahead of Puma teammates Pierre-Louis Loubet and a frustrated Oliver Solberg. The Swede lost time with spins and stalls on SS4 and expressed insecurity due to a lack of grip.

Overnight chairman Craig Breen suffered a heavy loss in the morning. The Irishman was fourth until he came off the road in a fast left turn on SS4 and hit the post in the grass. The collision shattered the left front suspension of his Puma, forcing the M-Sport driver to back up on foot.

Finland’s Emil Lindholm finished third to Skoda-powered Doksport WRT teammate and reigning champion Andreas Mikkelsen (Norway) in the FIA ​​WRC2 with Finn Teemu Suninen in the Hyundai Motorsport N-in i20 N Rally2. Estonian Ekon Kaur took fourth place with the Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 which suffered cosmetic damage from the previous incident. Lindholm leads the WRC2 Junior category ahead of Marco Pulasia.

Local star Robert Virves tops the FIA ​​Junior WRC standings with a 4.4 second lead over Finn Sami Bajari. Championship leader John Armstrong of Northern Ireland was third. All Junior WRC riders use a Ford Fiesta Rally3 manufactured by M-Sport Poland and fitted with Pirelli tyres.

The launch of the SS6 is scheduled for 3:16 p.m. local time (2:16 p.m. CET), after assistance at the National Museum of Estonia in Tartu.

Robert Butler

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