The top Estonian rally driver Markko Märtin easily won the E.O.S. Peugeot Rally 2005, held on the gravel roads of South Estonia over the weekend, also dishing out words of praise for his Peugeot 307 WRC that tested new suspension and tyres ahead of the next WRC rally in Finland, to be held on similar roads.
The competition was much tougher in N Group where the last stage gave victory to the Lithuanian crew Girdauskas-Urbonas who were 6.4 seconds ahead of Mölder- Vunn.
Märtin-Park used the rally in South Estonia to test new suspension that seemed to work and new Pirelli tyres, for the first time in any competition, that seemed not to work on the South Estonian roads and neither will they be used in Finland.
"It is possible to go fast with this far," Märtin said after the rally. "If I could drive the same set-up in Jyväskylä, everything would be fine. We have tested the new set-up for 3 hours and it was a positive step. We will see in Finland how much use it was." agreed Michael Park. "We hope to be competitive in Finland because everything went fairly smoothly here and there were not many hiccups."
"Markko was much quicker here than in the past few rallies that have not been very successful for us,"
Märtin won all of the stages but the first and he has now won all four E.O.S. rallies that have been held.
Competition for the second place between Murakas-Ojamäe and Linnerud-Floene, both driving Toyota Corolla WRC, was settled a couple of stages before the end when Murakas definitively went ahead.
Märtin won the rally with 59.37.8 and Murakas lost 3.07.1. Linnerud was finally 22.5 seconds behind Murakas who has won all five stages of Estonian Championships this year. He is also the Latvian champion.
In N Group Mölder said an unsuccessful jump caused him to lose the top ranking. He was 2 seconds ahead of the Lithuanian competitors after stage 10 but finally lost 6.4 seconds. Girdauskas was 5th and Mölder 6th overall.
In N group Aleksander Käo was third and Latvians Egle-Ainzkalns were fourth after passing the Finnish crew Ali-Rantala-Vihavainen on the penultimate stage. Egle found his speed towards the end of the rally - he was 5 seconds ahead of the Finns and just 4.3 seconds behind Käo.
The fourth place overall went to Popov-Perosti who were not competitors in A class, losing 5.35.0 to Märtin, and barely ahead of N Group cars.
EOS Rally - Final Results
1 Markko Märtin-Michael Park Peugeot 307 WRC 59'37"8 2 Margus Murakas-Aare Ojamäe Toyota Corolla WRC at 3'06"7 3 Tord Linnerud-Ola Fløene Toyota Corolla WRC at 3'29"6