The domestic rally season in Estonia will begin on July 4, when Viru Rally will begin in Lääne-Viru County. On Friday, reigning world champion duo Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja confirmed their participation and will compete in their Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC.
Andrea Adamo, director of Hyundai Motorsport, said: "Regardless of the WRC season still being suspended, we will begin testing because we want to be ready for the coming rounds. Participating at Grossi Toidukaubad Viru Rally is important for the entire team because it will help us get back into our regular routine.
"I've said it before but I have great memories of Estonia and I believe that the participation of Ott and Martin in the Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC will delight many rally fans."
The last time Tänak drove the roads of Viru County was in 2013, when he had to accept second place to Georg Gross and Raigo Mõlder, who were driving a WRC car.
A total of seven stages is planned, spanning 88.4 km of roads.
Of the coming rally, Ott Tänak said: "I'm glad that the team is allowing us to warm up on homely roads. We just finished a productive test in Finland and it is now important to get back into competition rhythm."
Tänak concluded: "The roads of Virumaa have always been challenging and that is exactly what we need currently. At the start of my career I spent a lot of time at Kehala Rally Complex (Kehala ringrada) and I am looking forward to try the roads with a new-generation World Rally Car."
Portal: WRC Round in Latvia not happening, season could continue with Rally Estonia
The organizers of Rally Liepaja could not reach an agreement with WRC promoter GmbH and there will be no WRC round in Latvia this year.
Raimonds Strokšs, director of the organizing RA Events, told rally portal DirtFish: "Firstly, we thank WRC Promoter for recognising ERC Rally Liepaja as an event worthy of inclusion in the WRC. This is great testament to the work we have done since 2012 when we started preparations for the first Rally Liepaja in 2013. We also thank the FIA and Eurosport Events for their assistance.
"In these past few days we have done an enormous job. We have shown to the WRC Promoter that we and the whole of Latvia are not afraid to work hard and accept a challenge as massive as organising a WRC event in such a short amount of time. However, due to various reasons, it has been agreed that the ERC Rally Liepaja will not be a new addition to the revised WRC calendar this year."
Rally Liepaja would have become the first round of the suspended WRC season after the Championship suspended its season after Rally Mexico in March.
WRC has already canceled Rally de Portugal, Rally Kenya, Rally Finland, Rally New Zealand. Additionally, Rally of Argentina and Rally d'Italia have been postponed, leaving only the Turkish, German, Welsh, and Japanese rounds remaining on the schedule.
According to the FIA, seven rounds of the season have to be completed to give out the title. Until the COVID-19 pandemic, three rounds were completed, which has led the association to look into alternative options.
ERR News wrote on June 18 that the team behind Rally Estonia said that they have been made an offer to host a round of the World Rally Championships (WRC) in Estonia. Prime Minister Jüri Ratas said the government is ready to allocate additional funds from the state budget to support the potential WRC rally.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste