Forget Sunday, Thursday’s where the real fight for Estonian supremacy will come. Why? That’s when Toyota, Hyundai and M-Sport Ford go head-to-head (to-head) in lorries.
Don’t be fooled. These are no ordinary lorries. These class E13 trucks might have seen a kilometer or two, but their V8 engines are race-ready to thrill fans as the World Rally Championship’s finest go in search of an early round seven advantage.
The difference this time?
It’s the team principals behind the wheel at the Tartu superspecial at 7pm on Thursday.
Jari-Matti Latvala, Julien Moncet and Richard Millener will take the wheel in a competition pulled together by the Rally Estonia organizers.
Eighteen-time World Rally winner Latvala goes in as the favorite, but Toyota’s leader is cautious.
“I have driven trucks before, but never one like this!” Latvala told DirtFish.
“I expect the rear to be light which means a lot of easy drifting and sliding, but the gearbox might be difficult to use. I think we might need some patience – but it will be a lot of fun.”
Hyundai’s Moncet isn’t short on competition experience, having run in karting and rallycross.
“But that was 20 years ago…” he pointed out. “I still have to figure out if I can touch the pedals with my feet! I guess the truck will be a bit different, but let me say this: if I do not win this one but we win the rally, then that’s fair enough for me!”
The big surprise in the field is the absence of M-Sport managing director, former British Rally champion and factory WRC driver Malcolm Wilson.
“I don’t need a truck to make a fool out of myself,” laughed Wilson, who will be watching with interest – like the rest of us – from the sidelines.