Hyundai Motorsport has unveiled its lineup for next month's WRC Rally Estonia, with local heroes Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja naturally at the forefront.
Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja head up Hyundai Rally Estonia entries.
The race, the third full WRC event to be held in Estonia, runs July 14-17, and Thierry Neuville (Belgium) and his co-driver Martijn Wydaeghe (Belgium), together with Swedish-Norwegian driver Oliver Solberg and his British co-driver Elliott Edmondson will join Tänak and Järveoja in the event, held across a variety of stages in southern and eastern Estonia.
#WRC Let's talk about some Rally Estonia line-up!— hmsgofficial (@HMSGOfficial) June 14, 2022
1️⃣1️⃣ @thierryneuville / @MWydaeghe
8️⃣ @OttTanak / Martin #Jarveoja
2️⃣ @OliverSolberg01 / @EAERallying #HMSGOfficial #RallyEstonia pic.twitter.com/q9k5J4c9uI
While Rally Estonia has been run for over a decade, it only became a full WRC event in 2020, the season after Tänak bagged his maiden drivers' title, though the Covid pandemic meant the regular start and finish podium in Tartu's Town Hall Square was off the agenda at the inaugural event and last year.
This year, that feature is back on the itinerary, along with 24 stages across 313.84km, over the four days.
As is customary for WRC events, the Thursday evening, July 13, will see one short stage, the 1.66km Visit Estonia/Tartu 1 stage, as noted starting in Tartu's old town.
Friday holds eight more stages, starting in Jõgeva County and moving to the shores of Peispi järv, and then Raanitsa, Tartu County, and Vastsemõisa in Valga County.
The Alaküla stage with its famous jump (see below) follows on Saturday, while the final and 24th Wolf Power Stage Kambja 2 rounds off Sunday, save for the Leigo points test.
As well as the WRC, WRC2, WRC3 and Junior WRC entrants, an Estonian Rally Championship (EMV) category will run seven speed trials.
Fresh from victory in Sardinia the weekend before last, and now in third place in the drivers' table, there is one more race for Tänak in the Hyundai i20, along with the rest of the field, between now and Estonia – June 23-26 is Safari Rally Kenya weekend.
Finn Kalle Rovanperä (Toyota) still leads the drivers' table with 120 points going into Rally Keny, followed by Neuville (65 points) and Tänal (62 points).
Hyundai is one of three WRC teams in this year's series, along with Toyota Gazoo Racing and M-Sport Ford.
The South Korean manufacturer's WRC team, officially called Hyundai Shell Mobis WRT, is based in Alzenau, Germany.
The 2022 WRC season has seen new hybrid regulations introduced.
Editor: Andrew Whyte