Estonian ace Niinemäe wins ERC Junior at home

Estonian ace Niinemäe wins ERC Junior at home

17/07/2016 at 19:30Updated 17/07/2016 at 19:49

Estonia’s Miko-Ove Niinemäe claimed a fine ERC Junior win on home ground, leading the Pirelli-supplied category from start to finish and climbing to a superb seventh overall.

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He began the final day with a 10s lead over Nikolay Gryazin and had almost doubled that before young Latvian Gryazin rolled out on SS12.

Niinemäe’s final winning margin was 39.8s over ADAC Opel Rallye Junior Team driver Marijan Griebel. The German got ahead of his team-mate Chris Ingram with fastest times on the day’s first two stages, benefitting from a lower running order than the overnight top three, who headed the start list as a result of being inside the overall top 10.

His advantage over points leader Ingram was just 1.4s at midday service, and the road sweeping affect was not going to be as great in the afternoon, but Griebel pushed hard to win SS14 and increase his margin by another five seconds.

Local man Gustav Kruuda was the quickest ERC Junior driver on Sunday as he took fourth. Łukasz Pieniążek rolled on the very last stage, dropping him from fifth to ninth and promoting a close battle between Julius Tannert and Joonas Tookee, separated by just 2.6s at the finish.

Kristóf Klausz and Marco Cid completed the top eight while Alex Forsström restarted to take 10th on his debut. Dominik Brož also returned to action for a fourth finish out of four, in 11th place among the ERC3 runners.