Before the World Rally Championship season can restart in early-September with Rally Estonia, Hyundai Motorsport will participate at Rally di Alba in Italy. Team boss Andrea Adamo says the rally is an opportunity to prepare for the roads of Estonia for reigning world champion Ott Tänak and teammate Thierry Neuville.
Director of Hyundai Motorsport Andrea Adamo said although the twisty Italian asphalt roads differ greatly from the speedy Estonian gravel roads, Rally di Alba, scheduled to begin on August 2, is an excellent opportunity to bring the team together before the WRC series continues in early-September.
Adamo told rally portal DirtFish: "It's important for us to feel the competition again before we re-start the season. We have to do this. We can test, but the rally is another story."
Adamo has previously praised Tänak and teammate Thierry Neuville for their cooperation, as both drivers could lead the team by themselves but have accepted their roles and been humble about it.
Adamo has also praised Tänak, saying he is captivated by the Estonian's preparation and thoroughness, likening him to former Italian racing driver Gabriele Tarquini.
Adamo commented on Tänak's role in the development of the vehicle: "Ott clearly planned what he wanted and which jobs to focus on. I see this sort of thing with Tarquini and honestly, it makes a driver's input into the development priceless."
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.
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 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