Estonia’s governing body organizing July rally

Autosport Union announces plans for event, with intention of attracting WRC drivers

Esapekka Lappi (FIN)

The Estonian Autosport Union is organizing a groundbreaking coronavirus-safe rally to run in July.

After months of postponements and cancellations, Estonia’s motorsport governing body has set its sights on kick-starting the rally season in the safest way possible, adhering to all coronavirus-related requirements and restrictions.

The event, announced by the Estonian governing body on Tuesday, will be based out of Otepää, south of Tartu.

A statement said: “The Estonian Autosport Union is organizing a high-level rally event in a new format on the legendary Otepää roads. The prerequisites for conducting the competition are compliance with all applicable restrictions and sufficient opening of the [Estonian] borders.

“The vast majority of planned motorsport events of this year did not take place. Due to difficult circumstances, the Estonian Autosport Union has been looking for opportunities to continue coordinated motorsport activities as soon as possible.

“The importance of motorsport for the people in Estonia today cannot be overestimated – that’s confirmed by the attention that the current world champions Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja have received in the media in recent years.”

The reigning World Rally Champion has remained tight-lipped on the subject of the event, but the Estonian Autosport Union makes it clear this event is aimed at Tänak and his WRC colleagues.

“We have worked to ensure this high-level event will take place with top WRC drivers in Otepää,” it said.

A working group in Estonia has set two goals for the event.

The statement said these are “to respond to changed circumstances in the context of both health requirements and economic opportunities and offer a new and different rally experience for both participants and the audience”.

“We are closely following developments in the prevention of the spread of the virus and the international motorsport calendar to confirm the date of the rally so that the best rally drivers in the world can participate,” it added.

The event is scheduled for July 24/25 with a back-up date planned for August 7/8.