Today, May 23, a press conference was held in the T1 center Vision Venue studio, where Rally Estonia representative Tarmo Hõbe, WRC promoter representative Philipp Maenner and Secto Rally Finland representatives Tiina Lehmonen and Markus Häkkinen presented the unique cooperation between the two World Rally Championship events, which involves both countries top drivers currently leading the whole series, Ott Tänaku and Kalle Rovanperä.

20 years ago, history was made in the Estonian autosport: in the legendary battle between the two great rally drivers of that time, Markko Märtin and Marcus Grönholm, Estonia was able to defeat Finland. To the delight of all Estonian rally fans, Markko Märtin and Michael Park became the winners of the Jyväskylä World Rally Championship. In the meantime, 20 years have passed, but the friendly competition between the top drivers of the World Rally Championship is still very intense. And now, when Ott Tänak and Kalle Rovanperä keep the tension and adrenaline in the competition between Estonia and Finland, it's time to bring "Battle of the Champions: Ott Tänak vs. Kalle Rovanperä" to all rally fans - which of the world champions will win in the legendary battle of this generation?

As a result of cooperation between the two WRC event organizers in Estonia and Finland, a rally pass has been created for the first time in history, which allows access to two WRC events – WRC Rally Estonia in July and Secto Rally Finland in August. The EST-FIN RALLY PASS will be available from May 26 at 10:00 a.m. in the Rally Estonia website, Secto Rally Finland website and on Tallink channels.

Commercial Director of WRC Rally Estonia, Tarmo Hõbe: ’’At this exact moment in the whole WRC series is a very unique situatuon, where the two neighbouring countries have both a WRC round taking place and the Estonian and Finnish top drivers, Ott and Kalle compete relentlessly in order to win this year’s Championship title. Rallying is very popular in both countries, one can even say that the estonians and finns are a true rally nation. Extra excitement is added by the fact, that Ott has one win in Estonia whereas Kalle has two, but in the finnish event Ott has won three times, whilst Kalle is hoping to open his winning score in his home country soon. Midsummer nature is stunningly beautiful in both Tartu and Jyväskylä and it is a great opportunity to discover what the countries have to offer and enjoy the adrenaliine-filled competition. We would like to invite all Estonian and Finnish fans to come to the stages and bring your flags, let’s make it an unforgettable Battle of the Champions!’’

Chief Operating Officer of AKK Sports Ltd, Promoter of Secto Rally Finland, Markus Häkkinen:

The idea for this unique opportunity for the EST-FIN co-operation was born already during last year’s Secto Rally Finland, but really after Kalle’s World Championship win it became clear, that if this kind of joint rally pass will be introduced to spectators, then the right time for it was now. We are very pleased that our Estonian colleagues were super excited about the idea of this completely new kind of co-operation in the whole WRC series. Now, what we have in hand is a product that offers the loyal fans of both rallies – like we say in Secto Rally Finland “More Than a Rally”, but in this case more than doubled.

All rally fans have a very important role to help the hero of their country to a certain victory, that's why we are welcoming all fans to join us on the stages with their nation flags, to determine which flag colors dominate the battle between the fans.

WRC Rally Estonia will be held on July 20 to 23 in Tartu and on the roads of Tartu, Otepää, Elva, Kanepi, Kambja, Peipsiääre, Mustvee and Kastre parishes. Just two weeks later, the WRC carousel will head to Finland, where the Secto Rally Finland will be held on the August 3-6.

Photo: Andrei Ozdoba

Parimat / Best regards
Rauno Paltser
Rally Estonia
Estonian Autosport Events MTÜ

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