Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja have won their home rally and the inaugural full-calendar WRC event in South Estonia. The pair took an early lead Saturday and did not let up through the course of Sunday with a time of 1:59:53.6, despite a strong challenge mounted by Irish driver and fellow Hyundai teammate Craig Breen and his co-driver Paul Nagle, who were 22.2 seconds behind with a time of 2:00:15.8. Veteran driver Sebastien Ogier and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia were third for Toyota (2:00:20.5)
The race was also the first WRC event since Mexico in February, in a season drastically shortened as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Drivers, co-drivers, team members, officials, the media and the public all had to wear facemasks throughout the event.
The climax came after the 17th and final stage, which Tänak and Järveoja recorded a time of 10:18.4 as well as picking up 3 extra power stage points.
WINNERS OF RALLY ESTONIA 2020 ????????????— Ott Tänak (@OttTanak) September 6, 2020
AND 3 EXTRA POWER STAGE POINTS! ????
⏱️SS17 Kambja 2 (20,04 km):
1⃣ Rovanperä 10:12.429
2⃣ Evans +5.2
3⃣ TÄNAK +6.1
4⃣ Ogier +8.0
5⃣ Breen +15.1#RallyEstonia #WRC #goOtt pic.twitter.com/nGg4jU9Mzr
The result also puts Tänak in third place in the driver's table for 2020 on 66 points, behind Sebastien Ogier on 70 and Elfyn Evans on 66. Hyundai lie second, with 132 points, out of the three top-tier constructors, sandwiched between Tänak's old team, Toyota, on 137, and Ford M-Sport on 83.
The newly-rebooted season continues after just two weeks, with Rally Turkey up next, with two more races (Sardinia and Belgium) pencilled in for the remainder of 2020 as things stand.
"I need to get some air first. It was a challenging stage … but I'm happy to win with Hyundai the first time [in Rally Estonia] obviously it means a lot...The team has been working so, so hard, I've just been at home sitting on the sofa, but still, a great job guys. We just kept pushing and I was sure we could do it," Tänak said immediately after the race.
"We are proud of you, Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja. Congratulations on your great victory and a successful continuation of the competition," said Prime Minister Jüri Ratas of the win.
"Thanks to Urmo Aava, Tarmo Hõbed, Silver Küt and all the organizers, supporters and rally friends. You made history," Ratas went on.
SS17 Kambja 2 [Power Stage] - 20.04 km
Tänak and Järveoja sealed their victory after finishing third in stage 17 with a time of 10:18.4, behind Finn Kalle Rovanperä and his co-driver Jonne Halttunen (10:12.4) in the Toyota Yaris, and Welshman Elfyn Evans, with his co-driver Martin Scott (10:17.5), also with Toyota.
Six-time world-champion Sebastien Ogier was next (10:20.4) followed by eventual event runner-up Craig Breen (10:27.4).
#RallyEstonia - ????SS17 - Tänak: "It's great ofcourse we have some previous knowhow, if you race home you feel the support from the people around so, it's amazing - great feeling, first #WRC Rally Estonia, the win is mine so i'm happy for sure."— Rally Estonia (@RallyEstonia) September 6, 2020
Estonian Egon Kaur with his co-driver Simm Silver were just outside the top 10 in their home race with a time of 2:09:20.0 and second overall in the third-tier WRC3 event in the Skoda Fabia. Kaur is in fact the first Estonian driver to clinch WRC points whose name is not Ott Tänak since 2014.
Norwegian Mads Osterberg won the second-tier WRC2 race in the Citroen with a time of 2:08:10.9.
Swede Oliver Solberg won the third-tier WRC3 classification in the VW Polo GTI.
Other Estonian drivers in the running were Raul Jeets, driving for Skoda in the second-tier WRC2 series, who had to pull out after rolling Sunday, and Ken Torn, whose Ford Fiesta Rally4 developed mechanical issues, also forcing him to retire.
Rally Estonia's official Twitter account is here.
The podium and award ceremony starts at 3.30 p.m. Estonian time.
#RallyEstonia -????SS17 - Solberg finishes and WINS #WRC3 class! Congratulations @OliverSolberg01!— Rally Estonia (@RallyEstonia) September 6, 2020
"Fantastic! It was a tough stage, my left front was very bad in the end there. Very tough with different conditions every time. Good fun and I enjoyed!"#WRC #VisitEstonia pic.twitter.com/XMkF8ZbsSg
Reports on the remaining 16 stages of Rally Estonia, which started just after 7 p.m. Friday, follow, in reverse order.
SS16 Fat Burner / Kaagvere 2 -15.46 km
Kalle Rovenperä and co-driver Jonne Halttunen won stage 16 with a time of 8:34.1, over six-time world champion Sebastien Ogier and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia, also in a Toyota Yaris (8:36.9).
Two Hyundai i20s were next as Tänak and Järveoja finished third in front of the home crowd (8:38.3), though sustaining damage to the i20's rear end in the process, followed closely by Irishman Craig Breen and Paul Nagle (8:38.8).
???????? #WRC @RallyEstonia SS16 Results ⏱️— WRC - FIA World Rally Championship (@OfficialWRC) September 6, 2020
1️⃣ @KalleRovanpera 8:34.1
2️⃣ @SebOgier +2.8
3️⃣ @OttTanak +4.2
Live Timing & Standings ➡ https://t.co/m2aWjw9Ya9
FINAL STAGE NEXT: Wolf Power Stage LIVE at 13:18 (UTC+3) live on WRC+#WRCLive #RallyEstonia #AnonimoWatches @wolflubes pic.twitter.com/TSxEtzZWYU
Welshman Elfyn Evans, who got plenty of practice in South Estonian conditions several weeks before the race when he visited South Estonia, was next with a time of 8:41.8, and Teemu Suninen was sixth with 8:45.4.
Second-tier WRC2 driver Egon Kaur, the first Estonian driver who is not Ott Tänak to pick up WRC points since 2014 today, unfortunately suffered a puncture on Stage 16 and with it, a penalty.
#RallyEstonia - SS16 - Kaur with rear puncture and a timeloss of over a minute. / Rehvipurunemine Egonil. Kahjuks kaotust üle minuti.— Rally Estonia (@RallyEstonia) September 6, 2020
The final stage, the 20-km SS17 Kambja 2 Power Stage, starts at just before 1.20 p.m. Estonian time and will decide the winner.
ERR's sports portal is live-linking to ETV's Rally Estonia broadcast from 12.30 p.m. local time, here (link in Estonian).
SS15 Arula 2 - 6.97 km
While veteran driver Sebastien Ogier won another stage, taking the 6.97-km 15th stage with a time of 3:14.7 in the Toyota Yaris, and 0.7 seconds ahead of Tänak in the Hyundai i20, the Estonian pair remain top overall, with the gap not significantly changed over Craig Breen and Paul Nagle, also in a Hyundai, following the stage.
The latter came joint third with a time of 3:15.6 together with Finn Kalle Rovanperä in the Toyota. Welshman Elfyn Evans was next in the Ford Fiesta (3:17.1) followed by teammates and another Finnish pairing of Teemu Suninen/Jarmo Lehtinen (3:20.7).
Tänak's teammate Thierry Neuville was 12th (3:45.1) and is out of the running for the whole event having had to withtdraw Saturday due to suspension problems.
These are not the tracks you want to see when heading to the stages! An Estonian rally fan spotted these fresh tracks heading to the stages this morning. Looks like we have one big hairy rally fan out there..— Rally Estonia (@RallyEstonia) September 6, 2020
????Igmar Matto#WRC #RallyEstonia #VisitEstonia pic.twitter.com/7DykexGaoz
The next and penultimate stage, the 15.46 km SS16 Kaagvere 2, is already underway.
SS14 Kambja 1 - 20.04 km
The little-over-20-km Kambja 1 stage saw Ogier and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia take first place in the Toyota Yaris with a time of 10:26.9, ahead of Toyota teammates Finns Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen (10:28.7). Welshman Elyn Evans came third with his co-driver Martin Scott (10:30.3), followed by Breen/Nagel (10:30.9) and Tänak/Järveoja (10:31.6). Tänak's teammate Belgian Thierry Neuville, who had to pull out Saturday with suspension problems, is back on the road coming sixth place (10:36.6), though will not be able to claw his way back into the upper reaches of the leaderboard before race end.
#WRC— hmsgofficial (@HMSGOfficial) September 6, 2020
1. ???????? Ogier
2. ???????? Rovanpera +1.8
3. ???????? Evans +3.4
4. ???????? #Breen +4.0
5. ???????? #Tanak +4.7
6. ???????? #Neuville +9.7
7. ???????? Suninen +13.3
8. ???????? Lappi +19.5
9. ???????? Greensmith +23.3#HMSGOfficial #RallyEstonia pic.twitter.com/6KV4woDO2l
SS13 Kaagvere 1 - 15.46 km
Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen were fastest with a time of 8:42.5 in the Toyota Yaris, with local heroes Tänak and Järveoja 2.1 seconds slower in second place.
On-form Irishmen Craig Breen and his co-driver Paul Nagle were third in their Hyundai i20 (8:44.7) followed by veteran driver Sebastien Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia (Toyota, 8:46.)
Welshman Elfyn Evans was next for Toyota (8:48.3) followed by Finn Esapekka Lappi (Ford, 8:53.0).
Egon Kaur, driving in the second-tier WRC2, and is co-driver Simm Silver, is in 10th place after stage 13, and is the first Estonian driver other than Ott Tänak to win a WRC point since 2014, when Karl Kruuda took 10th place in Finland, ERR's sports portal reports.
The full stage results are below.
Japanese driver Takamoto Katsuta, and his English co-driver, Daniel Barritt exited the stage, and thus the race, after rolling.
Hyundai pairing of Pierre-Louis Loubet and V. Landais developed a problem during stage 12 and had to pull over, and retired, joining teammates Thierry Neuville of Belgium and his co-driver N. Gilsoul, who pulled out Saturday.
SS12 Arula 1 - 6.97 km
While Kalle Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen (Toyota) posted the second fastest time of 3:15:7, behind only Evans and Scott (Ford, 3:15:3) they are in sixth place overall in the standings now.
Sebastien Ogier, and his co-driver Julien Ingrassia (Toyota) came fourth in Stage 12 with a time of 3:17:6, followed by Craig Breen and Paul Nagle (Hyundai) on 3:18:3.
Hyundai pairing of Pierre-Louis Loubet and V. Landais developed a problem during stage 12 and had to pull over.
SS11 Cronimet / Elva 2 - 11.72 km
Finnish crew Kalle Rovanperä / Jonne Halttunen made an excellent recovery on Saturday, as the pair was able to post the fastest time of the eleventh and final stage on the first full day of WRC in Estonia. The Toyota pair set the fastest time at 5:58.0, after a burst tire made them lose a significant amount of time in the third stage.
Estonian crew Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja in the Hyundai i20 Coupe posted the second fastest time on the roads of Elva, setting a time of 5:59.8 (+1.8). The local favorites capped off a dominant day, as they extended their lead in the overall rankings to 11.7 seconds.
Tänak said after a strong first day of stages: "I've been pushing a couple of stages to make a gap. This afternoon the middle sections were really rough. You gotta get through to win. Demanding and tricky day. Feel like i've done a whole rally."
Tänak's teammates Craig Breen / Paul Nagle also finished off a strong day, coming in with a time of 6:01.7, 3.7 seconds behind first-place Rovanperä / Halttunen.
Breen has been in excellent form and confidence throughout Saturday: "So far it's been amazing. We had a small issue before the last one. Just really happy with how the day has been. I have to say the car has been a pleasure to drive from the first stage."
The fastest five were rounded out by Takamoto Katsuta / Daniel Barritt (Toyota), who came in at 5.8 seconds slower (6:03.8) than Rovanperä.
SS11 Elva 2 (11.72 km): @SebOgier finishes a long day at #RallyEstonia in 3rd position overall and leading four #YarisWRC drivers in the top six.— Toyota GAZOO Racing WRT (@TGR_WRC) September 5, 2020
With a stage win @KalleRovanpera moves ahead of @ElfynEvans for 4th place, and @TakamotoKatsuta is 6th.#ToyotaGAZOORacing #WRC pic.twitter.com/buukXlNoxE
SS10 Cramo / Mäeküla 2 - 14.76 km
Hyundai pair Craig Breen / Paul Nagle have gotten off to an excellent rally in Estonia, winning their second consecutive stage on the roads of Southern Estonia. The crew posted a time of 7:40.1, 0.7 seconds ahead of Kalle Rovanperä / Konne Halttunen (Toyota).
Craig Breen expressed great confidence after SS10: "Pressures are for tyres! So much fun driving the car. It's the first time I've had a car working so well in the ruts. Struggled in the beginning, wasn't in the rhythm."
Brits Elfyn Evans / Scott Martin, also in the Toyota Yaris, came in third with a time of 7:42.5, 2.4 seconds back from Breen. Sebastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia, also in the Toyota finished with the fourth time on the roads of Mäeküla with a time of 7:43.7, 3.6 seconds back from first place.
Estonian driver Ott Tänak and co-driver Martin Järveoja in the Hyundai i20 Coupe finished fifth on the tenth stage of the rally event, four seconds behind teammate Craig Breen. The pair has cooled off a bit after a furious start, extending their overall lead to 13.8 seconds at one point. Tänak was focused when asked about the rally after the tenth stage, saying the most important thing is to finish strong.
SS9 Postimees / Otepää 2 - 9.30 km
The crew of Craig Breen / Paul Nagle are adding to Hyundai's dominant Rally Estonia with an excellent performance on Southern Estonian roads, as the Irish pair posted the fastest time on the ninth stage of the WRC rally. Breen blasted through the roads of Otepää with a time of 5:00.4.
Breen was asked about the excellent results right after: "It's just incredible! The car does everything that I expected /.../ something was flying around in my car, maybe my phone /.../ like an antigravity stage, incredible," the Hyundai man praised.
Estonian Hyundai crew Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja came in second after their teammates with a time of 5:01.2, 0.8 seconds behind Breen and Nagle. The next closest time to Tänak was Kalle Rovanperä / Jonne Halttunen who posted a time of 5:03.6, 2.4 seconds back from Tänak and 3.2 seconds back from Breen in first.
Tänak, like Breen, was also praiseful of the Hyundai i20 Coupe: "This stage seems to suit the car, I had a clean stage. This event seems tricky for the tyres so we have to take care about that."
Sebastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia in the Toyota Yaris finished fourth on the 9.30-km stage with a time of 5:03.8 (+3.4) and their teammates Elfyn Evans / Scott Martin finished with 5:04.0, back 3.6 seconds from Craig Breen.
Significant ruts have developed on the roads, with six-time world champion Ogier bringing attention to them after SS9: "It's quite different rally than we expected, much more rutted. Good start, I have a damaged tyre so I have to be careful now."
SS8 TREV-2 / Kanepi 2 - 16.88 km
Saaremaa-born reigning WRC champion Ott Tänak, along with co-driver Martin Järveoja are continuing their great performance at WRC Rally Estonia, taking the eighth stage of the total 17 with a time of 8:10.6.
Tänak and Järveoja are followed by Finnish Toyota crew Kalle Rovanperä / Jonne Halttunen, who posted a time of 8:13.9, 3.3 seconds slower than the Estonians.
Elfyn Evans / Scott Martin (Toyota) finish the top three, 3.8 seconds behind Tänak, followed by Hyundai crew Craig Breen / Paul Nagle (8:14.9, +4.3) and Sebastien Ogier / Julain Ingrassia (Toyota) with a time of 8:15,6 (+5.0).
Ott Tänak said after the stage that it is difficult to drive clean as the roads are quite rough. "Yeah, but it's rough and many surprises. When some places surprise you then it's difficult. We're trying to be clean," the reigning champion said.
SS7 Betsafe / Prangli 2 - 20.93 km
Toyota crew Sebastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia posted the fastest time of the seventh stage of a total of 17 with 9:45.3, six tenths faster than Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja (Hyundai).
Toyota drivers Kalle Rovanperä and Jonne Halttunen finished third with a time of 9:47.9 (+2.6), followed by Craig Breen and Paul Nagle at 9:49.4 (+4.1).
Rovanperä said after the stage: "Conditions are not too bad, there are some really rough sections. In the small sections, where it's rough, it's scary to push. I will try to drive fast."
Tänak's teammate and third-place Thierry Neuville is out of the race after extensive damage to the suspension of his Hyundai i20 Coupe.
SS6 Sportland / Elva 1 - 11.72 km
Hyundai pair Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul posted the fastest time on the roads of Elva with a time of 6:05.1, Finnish Toyota crew Kalle Rovanperä / Jonne Holttunen posted a time of 6:05.8, seven tenths slower than Neuville. Rovanperä saw his rear tire burst on the third stage, after which the crew has returned at great pace.
Local heroes Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja (Hyundai) and Hyundai pair Sebastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia tied for third, both passing the stage with a time of 6:06.8, back 1.7 seconds from first place.
Tänak said in service: "I feel we are really back in action. Been a very challenging day, with the new stages it's tricky to read the conditions. Grip is changing quite often. First stage we had a puncture and then we managed it through."
Irishmen Craig Breen and Paul Nagle came in fifth, 2.1 seconds back from first pair of Neuville / Gilsoul.
The crews will now head to the service area for maintenance and a short break, WRC Rally Estonia will continue at 2.37 p.m. with SS7 in Prangli.
SS5 Tarfurgo / Mäeküla 1 - 14.76 km
Ogier was the first WRC driver on the Mäeküla roads, setting a time of 7:46.2. The time was fast enough to hold off all other competitors, as the six-time world champion, along with co-driver Julien Ingrassia, expectedly picked up the pace.
The French pair were followed by Finns Kalle Rovanperä / Jonne Halttunen with a time of 7:46.8, six tenths slower than Ogier. The Finns were rally leaders after the first two stages but dropped a significant amount of time after one of their rear tires burst on SS3.
Estonians Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja (Hyundai) finished third, a tenth slower than second-place Rovanperä and seven tenths back from Ogier. The reigning world champion pair posted a time of 7:46.9.
After winning two consecutive stages in dominant fashion, Tänak was asked about dropping some time to Ogier, his long-time rival. "What do you mean what happened? I lost only 0.7s from Ogier, there is no problem!", Tänak quipped back to the reporter and drove off.
Tänak's teammates Thierry Neuville / Niclas Gilsoul and Craig Breen / Paul Nagle finished fourth (7:48.2, +2.0) and fifth (7:48.8, +2.6).
#WRC— hmsgofficial (@HMSGOfficial) September 5, 2020
SS5 ???????? #Tanak
⏱ 7:46.9 (+0.7)
▶ Third quickest through so far
"What do you mean what happened? I lost only 0.7s from Ogier, there is no problem!" #HMSGOfficial #RallyEstonia pic.twitter.com/Fs7kgUtJs1
SS4 LHV / Otepää - 9.3 km
Tänak and Järveoja are completely at home on Estonian roads as the Estonian pair wrapped up the fourth stage of the first ever WRC event held in Estonia. The Estonians posted a very fast time of 5:04.5 in Otepää.
Tänak said after the stage: "Some more mechanical grip, the first stage was tricky but after this it has been better."
Irish driver Craig Breen, along with co-driver Paul Nagle, however put up an equally impressive stage, posting a time just a tenth slower than that of Tänak's. Hyundai completed a hat-trick on the fourth stage as Thierry Neuville / Niclas Gilsoul finished third with 5:07.1, more than four seconds ahead of fourth-place pair Elfyn Evans / Scott Martin.
SS3 VIA 3L / Kanepi - 16.88 km
Tänak was in complete control of the third stage, opening a second lead after the first 4.4 km split of the stage, his lead by the third split had already reached 5.9 seconds. The Estonian pair finished with a time of 8:16.6, 5.6 seconds faster than Craig Breen / Paul Nagle in second.
Toyota pair Elfyn Evans / Scott Martin came in third with 8:22.9, followed by Tänak's Hyundai teammates Thierry Neuville / Niclas Gilsoul, posting a time of 8:23.4.
Kalle Rovanperä / Jonne Holtunen (Toyota), the leaders of the rally after the first two stages, saw their rear tire burst and the pair finished 28.9 seconds after the Estonian leaders.
SS2 Ramudden / Prangli 20.93 km
Stage two of WRC Rally Estonia started at 7.40 a.m. Estonian time, with Sebastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Toyota) the first one on the roads. Ogier's time of 9:55.6 was enough for sixth place on SS2, with Kalle Rovanperä / Jonne Halttunen (Toyota) taking the second stage in total.
Rovanperä / Halttunen posted a time of 9:52.1, also lifting them up to first in the overall rankings. The Finnish pair were followed by Hyundai drivers Craig Breen / Paul Nagle, with a time of 9:53.4. Toyota popped up twice in the top-3, with Elfyn Evans / Scott Martin posting a time of 9:54.2.
Local pair Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja, the first ever Estonians to capture the WRC season title, finished fourth at 9:54.9, followed by Thierry Neuville / Niclas Gilsoul (Hyundai) posting a time of 9:55.6.
Estonian junior driver pair of Georg Gross / Raigo Mölder, in the wheel of a Ford Fiesta WRC car, crashed just a kilometer into the second stage, finishing the young crew's rally on Saturday morning, as the Ford was greatly damaged. Gross and his co-driver are OK.
SS1 Visit Estonia / Tartu - 1.28 km
Stage one (of 17) started at 7.08 p.m. Estonian time Friday and was the final competitive event of the rally's opening day.
Esapekka Lappi and co-driver Janne Ferm in the Ford Fiesta WRC together with six-time world champion Sebastien Ogier, and his co-driver in the Toyota Yaris Julien Ingrassia, together won the ultra-short 1.28-kilometer stage with a time of 1.17.0.
Lappi noted that stage one was just a foretaste of what is to come Saturday and Sunday. Stage two, for instance, is over 20 km in length.
"It didn't feel that good to be honest! But yeah, this is not really what the stages will be tomorrow. We had a good shakedown and opening stage - looking forward [to it]," Lappi said, according to rally blog eWRC-Results.
Tänak and Martin Järveoja were third in the Hyundai i20 , 0.1 seconds behind the leading duo of cars, Tänak's teammate, Irishman Craig Breen, was next up with co-driver Nagle Paul, 0.4 seconds behind the leaders, with Welshman Elfyn Evans and co-driver Martin Scott fifth in the Yaris with a time of 1.17.6. Japanese driver Katsuta Takamoto and his English co-driver Daniel Barritt came sixth in the Yaris.
Of stage one, Ott Tänak said that: ""It's special - it's a chance for us to start in a good way. It will be a tricky two days and the competition will be tight, so we need to make the best of it."
Meanwhile, Sebastien Ogier said: ""It's exciting for us and it's good to be back and fighting. The car feels good, so let's go for it."
President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid was on hand to cheer on Estonian rally crew Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja.
Day two, stage two starts bright and early at 7.40 a.m., with the Prangli stage, close to the Põlva - Tartu county border.
The full Stage One results are below:
Friday, September 4: Shakedown stage
WRC Rally Estonia began with a test stage at Abissaare, with reigning world champion pair of Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja (Hyundai) posting the fastest time through the short warm-up for the rally itself.
Tänak's time of 2:56.8 is considerably faster than second-place pair Sebastien Ogier / Julien Ingrassia (Toyota), who posted a time of 2:58.2 on their fourth run.
Following the six-time world champion Ogier, are two Finnish pairs, Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm (M-Sport Ford) sit at third after the test stage with a time of 2:58.3. and the pair of Kalle Rovanperä / Jonne Halttunen (Toyota) posted a time of 2:58.4.
Tänak's Hyundai teammates Thierry Neuville / Nicolas Gilsoul rounded out the fastest five, finishing the test stage with a time of 2:58.6.
With Tänak, a total of five Estonians are in the fastest 25 drivers, as concurrent WRC2 and WRC3 rounds are also held.
The official start podium of WRC Rally Estonia will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, with the first stage held in Tartu scheduled to start at 7.08 p.m. Estonian time.
ERR News will be covering the event over the weekend. Coverage of the event will also be broadcast on ETV:
Friday: 8 p.m., 9.30 p.m.
Saturday: 9.30 a.m., 9.20 p.m.
Sunday: 12.30 p.m. (Power Stage)
First ever WRC round held in Estonia
The race will mark the return of the currently suspended WRC season and will make Estonia the 33rd country to host a WRC round after the series was started in 1973.
The first full calendar WRC event in Estonia will begin on Friday, September 4 and conclude with the finishing podium and award ceremony at 3.30 p.m. on Sunday.
A total of 17 special stages over 232.64 km are to be held, with 60 competitors registered in the entry list, of which 13 are top-class WRC cars and their crews.
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, which hosted the warm-up South Estonia rally the weekend before last.
Reigning world champion Ott Tänak (Hyundai) is the obvious favorite for the historic event in Estonia, as the Saaremaa man looks to begin the season restart with a successful rally on his home roads. Tänak won the South Estonia Rally on July 24, effectively a warm-up event for WRC Rally Estonia.
The driver season standings are currently led by Frenchman Sebastien Ogier (Toyota) with 62 points, followed by Welshman Elfyn Evans (Toyota, 54 points) and Tänak's teammate, Belgian Thierry Neuville (42 points). Tänak sits in fifth place with 38 points after crashing out in the opening event of the 2020 season in Monte Carlo.
A total of 60 crews registered for WRC Rally Estonia, with the full entry list available here.
The full organizer's programme of the event is as follows:
Friday, September 4:
- 9.01 a.m. Shakedown Abissaare
- 6 p.m. Official start podium
- 7.08 p.m. SS1 Visit Estonia / Tartu
Saturday, September 5:
- 6.38 a.m. Service A
- 7.40 a.m. SS2 Ramudden / Prangli 1
- 8.21 a.m. SS3 VIA 3L / Kanepi 1
- 9.08 a.m. SS4 LHV / Otepää 1
- 10 a.m. SS5 Tarfurgo / Mäeküla 1
- 11.19 a.m. SS6 Sportland / Elva 1
- 12.24 p.m. Service B
- 2.37 p.m. SS7 Betsafe / Prangli 2
- 3.18 p.m. SS8 TREV-2 / Kanepi 2
- 4.08 p.m. SS9 Postimees / Otepää 2
- 5 p.m. SS10 Cramo / Mäeküla 2
- 6.19 p.m. SS11 Cronimet / Elva 2
- 7.24 p.m. Service C
Sunday, September 6
- 6.09 a.m. Service D
- 7.35 a.m. SS12 Saku /Arula 1
- 8.09 a.m. SS13 Swecon / Kaagvere 1
- 9.08 a.m. SS14 Carglass /Kambja 1
- 10.49 a.m. SS15 Softmed / Arula 2
- 11.28 a.m. SS16 Fat Burner / Kaagvere 2
- 1.18 p.m. SS17 Circle K / Kambja 2 (Power stage)
- 3.30 p.m. Finish podium and award ceremony
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste, Andrew Whyte