Thu 02 Mar 2023

Pre-ERC season Sesks battle the perfect boost for Jeets

Gregor Jeets reckons his battle for victory with Mārtiṇš Sesks on last weekend’s Rally Alūksne has handed him a timely confidence boost ahead of round one of the 2023 FIA European Rally Championship.

The 22-year-old was dicing for top spot with Sesks, an ERC event winner last season, on the combined Estonian and Latvian championship rally. He was just 4.39sec behind with two stages remaining when he went wide into a snowbank and got stuck, leaving Sesks to cruise to the finish in first place.

“Every kilometre is good for myself but this rally was giving some confidence,” said the Estonian. “Sadly we got stuck in the snow, we lost our position and that was it. But, overall, it was a really good fight with Mārtiṇš.

“In the first evening we made some mistakes, hitting snowbanks and losing some seconds. We were trying to get this time back in the last two stages but in the start of the second to last stage we went wide in one place and there was so much open snow that we just got stuck. There was nothing bad on the car, we were just stuck and needed some shovels.”

Jeets, who scored an ERC career-best fifth on Tet Rally Liepāja last season, is hoping to make at least four European championship appearances this year, starting with Portugal’s Rally Serras de Fafe, Felgueiras, Boticas, Vieira do Minho e Cabeceiras de Basto from 10 - 12 March.

“We are firstly looking for experience but also some top 10 finishes, maybe some top five finishes also because Liepāja last year was my first time in this rally with a four-wheel-drive car and I finished fifth, which was quite good,” he said. “Hopefully we can get some more finishes in the top five.”

While Jeets, a university student in Tartu, the host city of the FIA World Rally Championship-counting Rally Estonia, is new to Rally Serras de Fafe, he does have knowledge of the local terrain from an outing on Vodafone Rally de Portugal in 2021.

“I think the roads are quite similar and it was not so hard so I am really looking forward to it,” said Jeets. “I think it will be a nice rally.”

Timo Taniel will co-drive his fellow Estonian Jeets in a Michelin-equipped Škoda Fabia Rally2 Evo entered by Tehase Auto in Fafe.

Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM