Estonian privateer Georg Gross will become the first privateer to run a 2020-specification Ford Fiesta WRC when he starts Sunday’s South Estonia Rally.
Like the World Rally Championship regulars surrounding him on the entry list, the defending Estonian champion will use the Võru-based event as a warm-up for his nation’s maiden WRC round early next month.
Gross’ Fiesta WRC will be run by Ott Tänak’s OT Racing firm, with assistance from an M-Sport engineer.
M-Sport Ford World Rally Team principal Richard Millener said: “Georg’s car will run in the same sort of specification we saw in México earlier this year and, yes, he’ll be the first to compete as a privateer with this car.
“He’s got all the steps we’ve made in terms of aero and everything since the first [homologation in 2017], but it’s not the absolute latest car – not even Esapekka [Lappi] has that in Estonia this weekend.”
Lappi’s JanPro Racing-run Fiesta WRC will have some updates aboard on Sunday.
“There’s some stuff on EP’s car,” said Millener, “but not everything our cars will have for Rally Estonia.”
While Gross has captured Estonian rallying’s biggest prize four times, next month will be only his second WRC outing – he crashed out of his first event in Finland 11 years ago.