Georg Linnamäe against the Tricolores in the Vosges

During the third round of the French rally championship, one of the attractions will be the presence of Georg Linnamäe. The 25-year-old Estonian is currently competing in WRC2 where he is often fast. Having everything to discover, will he be able to keep up with the regulars?

Published on 11/06/2024 à 17:33

Loïc ROCCI

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Georg Linnamäe against the Tricolores in the Vosges

Georg Linnamäe will discover the French championship and vice versa (Photo: Nikos Katikis/DPPI)

This will remain as one of the striking images of the 2024 season. In February, during the Swedish meeting, the beautiful layer of powder which had accumulated in the Friday specials had greatly complicated the performance of the Rally1s. Benefiting from increasingly clean roads, the WRC2 competitors had gradually moved to the top of the rankings ahead of the hybrid cars.

Still little known by neophytes, Georg Linnamäe made a name for himself by setting the best time in SS5, 5”8 ahead of Esapekka Lappi, the fastest in Rally1, but only appearing in 5e rank…behind 4 Rally2. It was the Estonian's first scratch in the world, but also that of the Toyota Yaris which made its appearance this season and which it operates.

Racing since 2015, the 25-year-old driver has regularly displayed good speed in his country, ERC and WRC. Since August 2020, he has decided to only drive Rally2s, starting with the Polo. If its decoration based on a good dose of orange remained easily identifiable, it chose to change its frame in 2023. With the Hyundai i20, he took the 4e place in WRC2 in Sweden, but he also experienced several often spectacular accidents. Georg indeed manages to ride very fast, but he has long had difficulty finding the limit.

However, progress has been noted this season. Now running on a Toyota Yaris Rally2, the Balte has proven more reliable since January. Author of a nice 3e rank in Sweden, he is one of the contenders for the podium. Having always competed in events on the sidelines of his world program, he will be involved in rally of the Vosges. While it could have been a good opportunity to see a Toyota Yaris on the French roads, Linnamäe chose to race a Skoda Fabia RS. In addition to not being a tar specialist, he will have the disadvantage of facing competitors who know the terrain very well. Comprising 12 SS, the event set up in Gérardmer offers 210,54 km timed.

Loïc ROCCI

Journalist specializing in rallying past, present and future... and with a southern accent

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