Australian co-driver Dale Moscatt and regular international driver Karl Kruuda enjoyed a solid outing in the World Rally Championship’s Rally Estonia.
Behind the wheel of the Volkswagen Polo GTI R5 and running in the WRC3 class, it was Kruuda ‘s first event in some time and the duo had a difficult start to the 17-stage rally after suffering a tyre puncture on the second stage.
Making the decision to finish the stage with the punctured tyre, they eventually replaced the tyre when they made it to the end of stage and from there on, Kruuda’s return rally was spent chasing the rest of the pack.
Not disheartened by the incident or by being ranked out of the WRC3 top 20 and as low as 45th on the outright standings, the duo slowly worked their way up the field and recorded a number of strong results throughout the rest of the event.
They saved their best until the final stint where an outright 11th place on the 15th stage and 13th on the final stage saw them jump up to fifth in WRC3 and 17th in the outright WRC.
Following on from their gallant effort in tough conditions, Moscatt was pleased they were able to improve after their less than ideal start.
“It didn’t start all that well even though we knew it was always going to be a slow start because Karl has been out of the car for so long. We got a front left puncture not far into stage two and we still can’t work out where we got it,” Moscatt said post-event.
“We did well psychologically after that because we didn’t get flustered. Karl is a calm guy and he didn’t let it worry him too much. Even getting through the stage with all the jumps once we had the puncture was brilliant.
“It was a good accomplishment to finish P5. We knew we would slowly work into it. Karl has done very little driving in recent years so it was a long-term strategy for us to make our way up the field as the event went on, which is what we ended up doing.
“Stage 15 and 17 were definite highlights of the event, especially stage 15. As it was the second pass of the particular area, the surface was really carved up so the commitment needed to throw the car sideways was huge.
“Had we not had the puncture, we could have gone harder for longer and who knows what could have happened.”
As for the rally itself, Moscatt was thankful he was able to get to the event under the circumstances and was proud to compete alongside Kruuda who was partnered up with a charity.
“The event was amazing. It was the first WRC event they held in Estonia so it was a step up for the organisers and they did a phenomenal job. The buzz around the event was just fantastic and the roads are absolutely spectacular,” Moscatt explained.
“Karl also did a really nice thing and used the event as a way to help a local charity raise money for kids with cancer. It was a great gesture from Karl and his family and they ended up raising over 500,000 euro, which was fantastic.
“The event was a once off. Karl and I have been competing together in China for a few years now after I brought him down, so when the opportunity to come up here came about, it was an easy choice.
“Obviously it’s a big effort to get here from Australia but I am really glad I came and I don’t regret it for a second.”
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