Local Hero Tanak wins Rally Estonia

Perhaps Rally Estonia should now be a regular fixture on the WRC calendar following a successful debut last weekend for the Tartu-based rally which in 1029 ran as an official WRC promotional rally, pitched to the FIA for a date in the calendar. But the cancellation of multiple events this year; including Rally Portugal, Rally Finland, Rally New Zealand, the Safari Rally and Wales Rally GB meant that the long-term project materialized five years early. In fact, since last weekend, Rally Estonia has now become a barometer against by which all rounds of the WRC must now compare themselves.

In just 20 weeks the rally organisers and local authorities managed to deliver an incredible event, which was extremely impressive especially given the current circumstances and restrictions, with only the fans missing and Estonians are particularly passionate about their rallying, especially as fellow countryman Ott Tanak is reigning world rally champion!

Appropriately, it was Tanak who took first WRC victory in Estonia, with Hyundai team mate Craig Breen in a good second place just twenty two seconds behind and six-time WRC champion Ogier's Toyota Yaris third with a deficit of 27 seconds, on the championship's first rally since Rally Mexico back in March.

Tanak's victory means that Ogier's lead in the standings over the Estomian's third place is down to 13 points with three rallies left this year in Turkey, Italy, and Belgium. Elfyn Evans lies between the pair, nine points behind Ogier.

Evans had finished Estonia in fourth place, Rovanpera fifth, Suninen sixth, followed by Lappi, Greensmith, Solberg and Ostberg closing out the championship scorers. The power stage was topped by Toyota's Kalle Rovanpera. Title aspirant Thierry Neuville was holding third place until he retired with damaged rear suspension then, his efforts to score power stage points were thwarted by mechanical problems.

Looking ahead, the next WRC event is this weekend in Turkey, a rally that is well-known for being very rough - let battle recommence!

11th September, 2020