Passes for Rally Estonia, the inaugural WRC stage for the country, go on sale Tuesday, costing €65 for adults and €15 for children aged 7-12. The race is to be held on the roads of South Estonia on September 4-6.
The event also marks the return of WRC competition after a hiatus of several months, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Passes went on sale at 10 a.m. on August 4. Organizers have also released detailed information about race weekend.
On July 13, it was announced that 20,000 allowed spectators will be allowed into the event, including 16,000 regular spectators, 1,500 drivers, teams members and 2,500 organizing staff.
The 16,000 rally passes are distributed into 16 different batches, of 1,000 each. With this distribution, the organizers can ensure that no more than 1,000 will be in one general region for too long, as the packages are scheduled to follow different locations at different times. Each rally pass allows the spectator to follow five stages of the rally.
The rally pass information section of Rally Estonia's website wrote on Tuesday: "Please make your plans with your companions in advance. Decide which rally pass group you would like to buy, and be sure to make up your mind regarding your second preference too, in case your first choice is sold out. The rally pass groups have been set up so that you can visit all areas meant for you and your companions without needing to rush."
The whole rally programme can be found here.
Urmo Aava, head organizer of Rally Estonia, said the biggest challenge of the rally round is spectator safety and the packages created for visitors to be able to enjoy the historic event.
He said: "Our first challenge is to take the risk of COVID-19 infection and get it to zero. We have worked out 16 different groups of rally passes for the rally weekend, which will guarantee that spectator areas have no more than 1,000 people.
"We have cooperated with a special commission created by the state regarding spectator capacity. We have also accounted for the attractiveness of the spectator areas and are basing them off the safe and eye-catching models previously established for Rally Estonia."
Information regarding ticket sales as stated on Rally Estonia's website:
- WRC Rally Estonia 2020 will be a success, if we all follow the requirements established due to coronavirus crisis.
- Be prepared that if the coronavirus crisis re-escalates, the Health Board may impose additional restrictions.
- There are 16 groups of Rally Passes. Each rally pass group has 1,000 passes on sale; the total number of rally passes is 16,000.
- The pass from each rally pass group enables spectators to follow the rally at five areas over the whole weekend; the passes for some groups also include a visit to the service park, hosted at the Estonia National Museum (ERM) just outside Tartu.
- The spectator areas cannot be accessed beyond the times fixed for the group of rally passes purchased.
- One person can buy rally passes for a whole group, one pass per person.
- Up to 20 rally passes, and up to 10 car passes, can be bought with one purchase.
- Rally Pass price is €65, Junior Rally Pass €15 for children aged 7-12, and the Junior Rally Pass for Kids in age 0-6 is free
- During the purchase process it is necessary to enter the names and personal identification codes of all persons visiting the rally, and who are connected with the rally pass. It is NOT necessary for this to be linked with an ID card or Mobile ID.
- Before buying rally passes, please round up the names and personal identification codes of all persons so that the purchase process could be as quick as possible.
- The rally pass is personalized and cannot be resold / handed on / given as a present.
- No VIP-passes will be on sale.
- Be prepared to present an identity document to ensure smooth access to the spectator areas.
- The rally cannot be viewed by non-pass-holders. The organizers urge you not to come to the event area without a rally pass, which could even jeopardize the event.
- Special stage tickets and rally passes or car passes are not on sale at the venue.
- There should be one car pass per each car. Without a car pass, it is not possible to park in the parking lots near the spectator areas.
- Car parking is allowed only in the parking places fixed by the organizers.
- Rally passes are issued from August 17.
- Rally passes are delivered only to Omniva Baltic parcel terminals.
- We kindly ask for your understanding, in case there are disruptions in ticket sales due to a high level of interest.
- It is not possible to switch spectator areas between groups.
- It is not allowed to resell Rally Passes and car stickers. We strongly suggest not to buy passes or car stickers from third parties, because they are personalised and can not be changed
- The spectator area can only be accessed at a certain time with a specific group rally pass. Please follow the programme provided on this site. If your group does not include the spectator area, you will not have an access thereto.
First ever WRC round to be held in Estonia
Rally Estonia will be held on September 4-6, in South Estonia. This will mark the return of the currently suspended WRC season, and will make Estonia the 33rd country to host a WRC round since the series started in 1973.
The round will span three days and will be held in traditional Rally Estonia regions in Tartu and Southern Estonia such as Kanepi, Kambja, Otepää and Elva.
A round of the Junior WRC season will also be held during that time, as the series follows the schedule of the full WRC. 26-year old Estonian Ken Torn currently holds third place in the season so far, in that series, with 15 points, chasing second place Latvian Martins Sesks (19 points) and Swedish Tom Kristensson (28 points).
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.
WRC officials also presented an updated schedule for the rest of the WRC season. Rally Estonia will be followed by Rally Turkey on September 24-27, Rally of Germany on October 15-18, Rally d'Italia on October 29-November 1 and Rally Japan on November 19-22. According to the WRC, negotiations are still held with Belgian organizers.
According to the International Automobile Federation (FIA), seven rounds of the season have to be completed to decide the title. Until the COVID-19 pandemic, three rounds were completed, which has led the association to look into alternative options.
France's Sebastien Ogier (Toyota) currently leads the series. Ott Tänak of Estonia (Hyundai) is reigning drivers' champion.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste