Fri 18 Mar 2022

Linnamae praised for coming-of-age performance

Georg Linnamaë was praised after he completed the podium on Rally Serras de Fafe - Felgueiras - Cabreira e Boticas last weekend.

The Estonian placed third on the FIA European Rally Championship opener in an ALM Motorsport-entered Volkswagen Polo GTI R5.

It was the 23-year-old’s first overall podium on an FIA-level international championship event and came after two days of close competition in challenging weather conditions.

However, Linnamaë revealed afterwards that second place was for his for the taking only for trouble to strike prior to the Power Stage.

Who jumped best?

“Unfortunately we had two flat tyres on the penultimate stage and only one spare,” Linnamaë explained. “We changed one and filled up the one as much as we could. Luckily it stayed on the rim and we got to the end but it was impossible to drive [faster]. The stage would have been very, very tricky with a car that was completely fine, but it definitely made things much worse.”

Linnamaë had narrowed Nil Solans’ lead to less than 15 seconds at one point on leg one, but a misting windscreen forced him to go slow through Saturday’s closing stages, which allowed his Spanish rival to pull clear.

Onboard of the Rally

James Morgan, who began co-driving Linnamaë last season and guided him to top WRC2 Junior honours on Rally Sweden last month, was impressed by his driver’s performance in northern Portugal.

“It was good to see Georg come up to speed and challenge consistently at the front, that shows real progression against such a good entry,” Morgan said. “We’ve worked quite a lot through the winter and our relationship is developing a lot inside the car and we’re building our trust. Everything is improving, Georg is improving, the team is improving and everything is going in the right direction but we’re still learning at the moment.”

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