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Ari Vatanen: Estonia has no new Markko Martin yet

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PHOTO: Mihkel Maripuu

Ari Vatanen, the 1981 World Rally champion running for the post of president of the Estonian Autosport Union, has said that while there are several good young rally drivers in Estonia the country does not have a new Markko Martin yet.

«Estonian autosport cannot be compared to the autosport of Finland or some larger country. You have to take into account Estonia's size. I'm not a specialist in Estonian autosport yet either. There's no new Markko Martin yet,» the Finnsh rally legend told BNS in an interview.

Vatanen said that while Ott Tanak was good, there was a bigger number of good young drivers around now. «You need to have similar rules with neighboring countries. There's room for development,» the World Rally Championship drivers' title holder from 1981 said.

He added that in Estonia the level of rally drivers has risen a lot compared with the1990s.

The Finnish former World Rally Championship driver and four times winner of the Paris Dakar Rally announced his decision to run for president of the Estonian autosports association at a press conference in Tallinn on Tuesday.

The invitation for Vatanen to manage the Estonian association was made by retail chain owner Oleg Gross, board member of the Estonian Autosport Union.

In 1999-2009 Ari Vatanen was member of the European Parliament. In 2009 he lost to Scuderia Ferrari manager Jean Todt in the presidential election of FIA, the world's governing body of motorsport.

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