The first event of the celebrations of 100 years of Estonian motorsports took place on Thursday with the opening of the Motorsports Hall of Fame in the MOMU Motorsports Museum in Turba.
The opening took place as a result of cooperation between the Estonian Autosports Federation, the Estonian Motorsports Federation and the MOMU Motorsports Museum. The hall opened with four members - Toomas Napa and Markko Märtin from the autosports side, Endel Kiisa and Tanel Leok from the motorsports arm.
"The Hall of Fame remembers those who have contributed to our technical sports, but to technical and sports culture as well. The first choice came from athletes, but we are also planning on including background forces who make engines rumble going forward," said MOMU museum director Arno Sillat.
"Motorsports, with its many disciplines, is succesful and popular in Estonia, the domestically made technical factor must also be considered. All in all, it is our duty to honor and improve the Hall of Fame," Sillat continued.
In addition to the opening of the Motorsports Hall of Fame, other anniversary events are planned for 2021, the largest of which is a family day on the Tallinn Tallinn Song Festival Grounds, set to take place on August 14. The event will exhibit race vehicles over the last 100 years, in addition to current motorsports disciplines. Races are also in the plans.
The birthday of Estonian motorsports is considered to be August 28, 1921, when a race between eight cars and two motorcycles was held on the route of Tallinn-Rapla-Tallinn.
The first four members of the Hall of Fame:
Endel Kiisa (October 1, 1937) was the first Estonian to reach a podium finish in the circuit racing world championships, finishing third in the Finnish GP in 1964. He finished eighth in the world championships the same year. Kiisa is a two-time Soviet Union champ and a 23-time Estonian champion and was chosen as the greatest Estonian motorcyclist of the 20th century in 2001.
Tanel Leok (June 1, 1985) is a two-time junior world champ (2000, 2001). He has taken three world cup stage victories, his best season finish coming in 2006, when he took fifth for the world cup season. Leok has represented Estonia on 19 occasions in the team motocross race Motocross des Nations.
Markko Märtin (November 10, 1975) was the first Estonian to take a World Rally Championship round victory (Greece in 2003). In total, Märtin took five WRC round victories, including a two-round streak in 2004, driving for Ford. Märtin's and his long-time co-driver Michael Park's best season finish was in the aforementioned 2004 season, finishing third for the year.
Toomas Napa (February 5, 1953) won the Friendship trophy in 1987, a competition among socialistic countries, in the formula-Eastern class. He finished second in the same series on three other occasions (1978, 1981 and 1985). Napa is a nine-time Soviet Union champ and was chosen as the greatest Estonian rally driver of the 20th century in 2001.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste