Sat 06 Jul 2024

Jürgenson edges Enok in closely matched ERC3 duel

Romet Jürgenson got the better of the changeable weather conditions and his fellow Estonian Patrik Enok to lead FIA ERC3 at the completion of Saturday’s Delfi Rally Estonia action.

Equal on time with Enok after SS2, Jürgenson edged 0.1sec ahead after SS3 only for Enok to hit back on SS4 and move 3.1sec in front. Benefiting from drier conditions on SS5, the lead was Jürgenson’s once again by 2.0sec. And the FIA Rally Star driver was able to extend his advantage to 14.5sec after Enok spun at high speed on SS6.

Enok posted five fastest stage times in his bid to recover lost ground, but he has an 11.1sec deficit to overcome on Sunday’s four stages if he’s to deny Jürgenson victory.

“We’ve had to push quite hard actually because the competition in Estonia is really tough, there’s no holding back,” Jürgenson said. “The guys are really fast so I had to push a lot. But this helps with the development.”

ERC newcomer Enok, 18, was 2.0sec behind Jürgenson when a high-speed spin four kilometres from the finish of SS6 cost him vital time.

“The car just switched off under the braking and I had a really high-speed spin,” Enok said. “I was fortunate not to end up in a ditch. It was a shame because we couldn’t turn around quick enough and the time was lost.”

Joosep Ralf Nõgene said he could have been “more brave” on SS2 but was more than fast enough on SS8 to set the fastest time aboard his Renault Clio Rally3. The 21-year-old Estonian is third overnight followed by Frenchman Tristan Charpentier, who is being co-driven by Alexis Maillefert for the first time.

Turkish teenager Kerem Kazaz is fifth following a “hit” to the front-left corner of his Fiesta on SS2 and an overshoot at a chicane on SS7.

Poland’s Igor Widłak, the 2022 ERC3 champion, is sixth after SS10 following a high-speed moment on SS7. “We were out of the road in fifth gear but we came back, it was a right corner three corners before the finish.”

Having claimed ERC3 and Fiesta Rally3 Trophy honours on his two starts to date, Filip Kohn started Delfi Rally Estonia eying a hat-trick. But a troubled SS2 dashed those hopes as the Czech driver explained: “I went a bit wide in one of the first corners, didn’t feel an impact or anything but we got a slow puncture on the rear left and we had to change it on the stage. Everything was going okay but three kilometres before the end of the stage we got a big impact on the left front and the brake caliper broke and I had no brakes.”

Kohn, who hit back to win SS6, is seventh after 10 stages, one place ahead of Martin Ravenščak, who reported a spin in a narrow section 1.5 kilometres before the finish of SS5.

Sunday’s deciding leg of Delfi Rally Estonia features four stages over a competitive distance of 68.32km. SS11, Otepää 1, is up first from 09:34 local time with the Kambja Power Stage due to begin at 15:05. The city of Tartu hosts the podium ceremony from 17:30.

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