The organizers were able to pass on the good news to rally fans at the press conference of WRC Rally Estonia held on Tuesday, 21 June, where this year’s cooperation agreements with sponsors were also signed. It was confirmed in cooperation with the Health Board and Ministry of Culture that the FIA World Rally Championship round Rally Estonia will take place with the audience and for the first time after a year and a half of waiting, the audience will have access to the rally service park during the World Championship round. In addition, the program of some rally pass packages also includes access to the start and finish podium of WRC Rally Estonia together with a spectacular show on the podium near the Estonian National Museum.

 

The total of 24 000 spectators will have access to WRC Rally Estonia. Rally passes are on sale in the rally shop of Rally Estonia www.rallyestonia.ee/pood and we definitely ask the ones who have already bought a rally pass to review the program of their package, whether this includes access to WRC Rally Estonia service park or the podium. According to Tarmo Hõbe, Commercial Director of WRC Rally Estonia, public access to the service park is a very strong message.

"Rally Estonia is the first WRC round after last year's Mexican rally, where the audience will have access to the service park and to the opening show and start podium on Thursday evening and to the finish podium on Sunday, which this time will also be a powerstage podium. This is also a big step for the WRC Promoter and FIA, as it is a sign of a return to normalcy. Of course, we do all this by minimizing the risks. Nine groups of spectators will have access to the service park according to the schedule of their program, one to the start podium and one to the finish podium,” Tarmo Hõbe told at the press conference.

"This year Rally Estonia's final stage – powerstage - will end near ERM and we will be able to transmit a live broadcast of the closing ceremony on our big stage to international television. We have connected the powerstage podium and the final podium. Both commercial rally and sports rally are combined around ERM and such compactness is something that the FIA, WRC Promoter, drivers and teams would like to see,” Hõbe added.

The list of WRC Rally Estonia participants was also disclosed on Monday. We are pleased to state that the list of participating teams is very strong. It brings together 10 WRC cars led by reigning world champions and World Championship leaders Sebastien Ogier and Julien Ingrassia, and last year's Rally Estonia winners and 2019 world champions Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja. There are 24 cars in the Rally 2 class and eight in the Junior WRC class. In addition to the latter there are six more teams with Rally3 and Rally4 cars. It is gratifying to note that in addition to WRC class, Estonian drivers are also represented in each category, led by Georg Linnamäe and Egon Kaur participating in the WRC 2 and WRC 3 series, some of whom were also present at the press conference of Rally Estonia.

Georg Linnamäe, WRC 2: “The start of the season in the WRC series has been difficult, but we are satisfied with the speed we have shown. Now we need to add consistency and be more competitive in the second half of the season. We will start next week at the European Championship round in Liepaja and I believe that we can take good feeling along for the start of Rally Estonia.”

Priit Koik, WRC 3: “As part of the preparation we decided to take part in one competition in Finland, which was the right decision. The Finnish roads and driving on them helped us to make adjustments in the pacenotes and polish our cooperation, plus we got good kilometres before Rally Estonia. It is good that we can compare ourselves to the tops of the world at home and want to improve our last year's result. We will definitely have a new challenge at the full World Rally Championship, 320 kilometres. There's plenty to figure out how to do things right.”

Raul Jeets, WRC 3: “Although I have attended World Rally Championships before, we had the last rally of this length in 2017. We are currently working on proper preparations for this rally. The World Championship round is still another topic, WRC cars and the world's top drivers create a special atmosphere. The organizers have added new stages and we are ready for these challenges. "

Robert Virves, Junior WRC: “I believe that everyone in our class is able to win in Estonia. It is safe to say that I, Martins Sesks from Latvia and Lauri Joona and Sami Pajari from Finland have grown up on such roads, but I am sure that other drivers are also in full swing here. This year's Junior WRC has a very strong level and there will be a tough race.”

Kaspar Kasari, Rally 4: “We have made a lot of preparations for the summer season, we just finished the European Championship round in Poland, where we got the fourth place. Like many other Estonians, we are participating in Liepaja round of European Championship. The goal at Rally Estonia is to have a decent result and show a fast ride. The rally is long and we can compare ourselves to the best of the world.”

Joosep Ralf Nõgene, Rally 4: “This is my first experience of participating in the World Rally Championship and I dare say that we are so ready. We have also done a lot of work to be ready for this competition, we are also attending Liepaja round of European Championship. The comparison with Junior WRC drivers is definitely quite interesting, we can see where we are today at our own pace. This is my first full season in a crosskart rally car and there is a lot to learn, Rally Estonia will be very valuable in this respect.”

The list of participants includes drivers from 25 countries and among others you will also find the winner of Rally Estonia 2015 and two-time European champion Alexey Lukjanuk, who together with Jaroslav Fyodorov is in the list with a Škoda Fabia Rally 2 car.

WRC Rally Estonia rally passes are on sale in the e-shop of Rally Estonia www.rallyestonia.ee/pood

Rally Estonia is the round of the 2021 FIA World Rally Championship which will be held in Tartu and Tartu, Otepää, Elva, Kanepi, Kambja, Peipsiääre and Mustvee rural municipalities on 15-18 July 2021.

Gallery from the press conference

Credit to the photo: Erlend Štaub
Margus Kiiver

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