The top Estonian rally driver Markko Märtin has found a slot in his tight WRC schedule to grace the local fans by attacking the gravel roads at the “E.O.S. Peugeot Rally” that takes place in South Estonia on July 22-23.
"Rally sport has become hugely popular in Estonia but few people have the opportunity to attend the WRC events in Europe and elsewhere," Märtin told a news conference organised in Estonia's capital Tallinn. The closest thing to the home event has been the Finnish Jyväskylä WRC rally that drew 10,000 Estonian fans last ........
......... year. Finland and Estonia are separated by an 80 km gulf.
The two days of rallying in Estonia are a good warm-up for the Peugeot 307 WRC ahead of the Finnish WRC event because the Estonian gravel roads are very similar to those in Jyväskylä.
Peugeot Sport did not need a lot of convincing to send the factory car and Märtin to Estonia, as the cooperation was smooth with rally organisers – the oil transit firm E.O.S. Ltd and Kommest Auto Ltd, the Peugeot dealership in Estonia.
Märtin has been a staple of E.O.S. rallies, driving his Subaru Impreza WRC in 2001 and Ford Focus WRC in 2002 and 2003. He is also a three-time winner, ahead of another local driver Margus Murakas, Norwegian Henning Solberg and Polish driver Tomasz Kuchar.
E.O.S. Peugeot Rally is composed of 10 stages – 2 of them in the streets of Tartu, the second-largest town in Estonia, and 8 on the gravel roads of Otepää, some 40 km from Tartu. The total length of the rally is 294 km, including 119 km of competitive stages. A total of 80 cars will be allowed to take part and registration for the event begins on June 8.