Rally Estonia organizer: Estonian WRC round will be decided this week

Ott Tänak
Ott Tänak Source: Henri Rump

There have been rumors over the last few weeks that the suspended World Rally Championship (WRC) season will continue on September 4-6 with a round in Estonia. Urmo Aava, the chief organizer of Rally Estonia, has now met with WRC promoter GmbH but no official announcement has been made.

Aava told Delfi (link in Estonian) preparations are still being made and the first announcements will be made by the end of this week.

Aava told ERR on Sunday: "We are in talks with WRC promoter GmbH and the International Automobile Federation (FIA), trying to get the best possible solution for Estonia and for Estonian autosport. It may seem that we are delaying info but that is absolutely not true! Normally these discussions can take up to six months, we are doing it at a very accelerated pace."

Aava added the event would span three days and would be held in traditional Rally Estonia regions in Tartu and Southern Estonia such as Kanepi, Kambja, Otepää and Elva.

He added: "We would not sacrifice anything to cut costs, but the route would likely be shorter, we see no reason to force a route of 300 km. It would be possible but wouldn't give the promoter or FIA what they want."

The chief organizer of Rally Estonia said while the competition's team consists of 37 people, the number of people necessary to hold the actual event would exceed 2,500. He noted the limit on outdoor event capacity in Estonia is currently set to end in August, but they would still limit the amount of people at the event.

Aava concluded: "If we are speaking of Rally Estonia as a round of the World Rally Championship in 2020, then our primary weakness as a small country in Europe has suddenly become our largest strength. The whole world will hear what kind of country Estonia is. Estonia could be the organizer of this round going forward and our message should be that Estonia not only gets things done but gets them done extremely well."

Aava has previously said on Vikerraadio that Estonian rally fans should mark the first weekends of September on their calendar as that is when the possible event will be held.

Many countries have expressed interest in hosting a WRC round, but most have now fallen off. 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. Czech Rally Barum is also under question.

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.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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