Government agrees to support Estonian WRC round in 2021

Tänak and Järveoja on the podium after their win at WRC Rally Estonia 2020.
Tänak and Järveoja on the podium after their win at WRC Rally Estonia 2020. Source: Hyundai Motorsport

The government confirmed on Thursday it would support another World Rally Championship (WRC) round in Estonia in 2021 if the organizers of Rally Estonia and WRC's organizational body GmbH reach an agreement to again host a rally round in Estonia

Minister of Culture Tõnis Lukas (Isamaa) said: "[WRC] Rally Estonia was very successful and received high praise and grades from rally world officials. Thanks to the satisfaction of all parties, Rally Estonia and Estonia have been made a proposal to organize a WRC round next year as well."

Lukas continued: "This would again take Estonia to hundreds of millions of people worldwide and of course, the organizers can depend on the state's support. Of course, hosting a round of the World Rally Championship season is a great opportunity for the entire Estonian economy and for tourism. Especially when considering the 300-kilometer route would go through many Southern Estonian counties all the way to Jõgeva County."

On October 8, the International Automobile Federation's (FIA) world motor sport council will hold a meeting, during which they will confirm the WRC's calendar for 2021. Rally Estonia is currently included in the working version of the calendar on July 15-18, followed by Rally Finland on July 29-August 1. The season would end in Japan on November 21.

The budget for WRC Rally Estonia is €4.3 million, of which €2.5 million the organizers will apply to from the Estonian state. The remaining €1.8 million will come from private sector sponsors and ticket sales.

WRC Rally Estonia 2020: Tänak and Järveoja take win on home roads

The dream of many Estonian rally fans came true on September 4-6, when the first ever World Rally Championship (WRC) event was held in Estonia.

Estonian pair Ott Tänak / Martin Järveoja (Hyundai) 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)

Full coverage of the event is available on ERR News here.

The race also marked the return of the suspended WRC season and made Estonia the 33rd country to host a WRC round after the series was started in 1973.

A total of 17 special stages over 232.64 km were held, with 60 competitors registered in the entry list, of which 13 are top-class WRC cars and their crews.

The round spanned three days and was held in traditional Rally Estonia regions in Tartu and southern Estonia such as Kanepi, Kambja, Otepää and Elva.


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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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