Estonian rally ace Ott Tänak (M-Sport), who currently sits in fourth place in this season's WRC World Rally Championship, said, even on his home roads, it will be difficult to compete with the Toyota drivers, who have been excellent this season.
Tänak has won four Estonian rallies before, though only once since it became a WRC class event, in 2020, when he was with Hyundai. Finland's Kalle Rovanperä (Toyota) took victory in last year's Rally Estonia, as he also did in 2021.
The Finn is way out in front in this year's championship, with 140 points from the first seven rounds.
The top three places in the drivers' championship are currently all occupied by Toyota drivers. 41 points behind Rovanperä is Welshman Elfyn Evans on 99 points, with France's Sebastien Ogier in third on 98 points. Estonia's Ott Tänak is also on 98 points but is fourth in the overall table.
Toyota also leads the manufacturer's championship with 285 points so far for the season. Hyundai is in second on 237, while Tänak's M-Sport is in third on 175.
Ahead of his home rally, Tänak told the DirtFish portal, that the Toyotas will be hard to beat again this week. ""[It will be difficult] fighting with Toyotas to be honest. So yeah, let's see when we get there [but] I'm sure Toyota will be definitely really dominating. In the end, Hyundai was quite strong as well. So we have some big giants we need to fight for, so it's not going to be easy," Tänak said.
Tänak won the South Estonia Rally on July 8 and says he has been working hard to prepare the M-Sport car for the fast gravel roads of Estonia and Finland.
"The next two stages are purely about speed, so we will focus everything on that and see how we can catch up. We're starting the second half of the season and we're certainly not giving up yet in terms of the overall championship. We feel that we need to up our game and go all out." Tänak said last week.
Rally Estonia gets underway on Thursday evening in Tartu. Over the course of the weekend (July 22-23), 21 speed tests will take place throughout southern Estonia. The rally finishes on Sunday afternoon, with an awards ceremony and podium in Tartu's Town Hall Square (Raekoja Plats).
Editor: Michael Cole