Thu 04 Jul 2024

Østberg hints at Estonia pace gain as Gryazin reveals ERC pace fear

Citroën-powered Mads Østberg and Nikolay Gryazin head to Delfi Rally Estonia for round four of the 2024 FIA European Rally Championship this week with contrasting mindsets.

While Østberg is hoping “new things for the car” will result in a pace hike on the high-tempo Estonian gravel roads, Gryazin is wary of the strong pace he’ll encounter on his switch from the FIA WRC2 Championship.  

“Estonia of course is a nice event, an event I really enjoy,” double Rally Estonia Østberg said. “The stages are beautiful and the organisation of the rally is really at the top of the line so it’s always enjoyable to be there. We’ve won the rally in the past and that’s something we want to achieve again. We had a good rally in Sweden, even if it was not exactly the result we were hoping for, but we have some new things for the car now for Rally Estonia and we think the car will be more competitive, which can bring us a bit closer to the top.”  

Although the Norwegian didn’t expand on what tweaks have been made to his TRT Rally Team-run Citroën C3 Rally2, he said: “We feel well prepared, we know most of the stages well so it should be a bit like coming back to a previous event. We target a top result, which will always be difficult, but everything is in place to start fighting for the top results again.”

Gryazin, the winner of the Rally2-based Junior ERC title in 2018, said of the Rally Estonia challenge: “It's tough, you need to be brave, you need to be precise and not afraid to jump sideways over a crest. And when you drive against the fast drivers like we have in ERC, it’s much more complicated with much more adrenalin.   

“We try to win, but there are much more faster drivers in the ERC than in the past. The competition level is really high and when you see the gaps between the drivers it’s crazy. We also need to see how I will work with my spare co-driver [Andris Mālnieks] on the fast roads but we have a good car.”   

Delfi Rally Estonia takes place from 5 - 7 July.

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