Estonian rally driver and reigning WRC champ Ott Tänak (Hyundai) says that he does not think this weekend's Rally Estonia, underway from Friday, will end up the fastest WRC race in history to date.
Tänak won Rally Estonia – then not a full-calendar WRC event – with an average speed of 120.3 kmh. Average speeds have exceeded that, however – for instance northern Irish driver Kris Meeke (Toyota) averaged 126.6 kmh in Finland in 2016, the current record, which Tänak thinks is not in danger even on the South Estonian roads of this weekend's renovated course.
In fact, it will be slower, he says, the result of safety features.
"The organizers have made many changes to the track and it will definitely not be very fast. In recent years the track has been faster. Let's say we can't call it slow this year, but it will definitely be slower [than before]," Tänak told Rally portal Dirtfish, ERR's sports portal reports.
"There are a lot of new routes," Tänak went on.
"Half the route is one I've never driven on before. In recent months, the organizers have constructed a lot, but no one has been able to drive on these roads before."
The shakedown stage for Rally Estonia has already taken place, with the first full stage starting just after 7 p.m. Friday.
Editor: Andrew Whyte