Reigning rally world champion Ott Tänak is calling on WRC Rally Estonia organizers to exercise caution when developing jumps on the track at next months race.
Organizers for Rally Estonia have worked relentlessly over the past years to add more height to jumps on roads in South Estonia, in preparation for the inaugural WRC event in Estonia, as well as the first race after a several-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
At last year's non-WRC calendar Shell Helix Rally Estonia rally, however, Welsh driver Elfyn Evans landed hard on a jump, injuring his back and then having to miss two rounds of WRC competition.
Reigning world champion and Hyundai driver Ott Tänak has not yet familiarized himself with Rally Estonia roads, but did tell rally portal Dirtfish that he hopes organizers have learned from previous mistakes.
Tänak said: "The only thing I've read from the media is that they are still building quite a few roads. I think they have more than 20 kilometers that they're still working on. They are building some Rally Estonia-spec jumps. Basically they are putting some extra material on the natural jumps to make the cars go more lightly.
"Last year they went a bit too far; hopefully they learned from that and they won't make this mistake again."
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 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. Tänak won last year's series with Toyota.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste