Ogier leads WRC Toyota trio for Estonia warm-up event

He will compete in the South Estonia Rally alongside his Toyota team-mates and M-Sport Ford's line-up


Toyota’s World Rally Championship trio of Sébastien Ogier, Elfyn Evans and Kalle Rovanperä, as well as M-Sport’s Esapekka Lappi, have been confirmed as entering next weekend’s South Estonia Rally.

The event runs two weeks before the WRC resumes with Rally Estonia, and is being used by many of the drivers as a warm-up for the country’s world championship debut.

Lappi will drive a privately owned Fiesta WRC from JanPro Racing, run by former WRC driver Janne Tuohino, while his usual M-Sport team-mate Teemu Suninen will pilot a Fiesta R5 Mk2 on the rally.

Reigning World Rally Champion Ott Tänak will pilot one of the i20 Coupe WRCs while team-mate and WRC title rival Thierry Neuville is expected to drive another.

Toyota’s line-up will all compete in their usual Yaris WRCs.

Lappi had intended to make his return to competition last week on the Jämsä Äijät Ralli in Finland but it was thwarted after his Fiesta WRC expired after just 300 meters.

Because M-Sport’s budget isn’t as large as that of Hyundai and Toyota, its drivers are shorter on mileage ahead of the season restart.

While Hyundai and Toyota have both been testing and in the case of the former, entering and winning rallies, Lappi’s brief appearance last week was the first by an M-Sport factory driver in a Rally1car since Rally México.

Suninen will have R5 opposition from Hyundai works trio Ole Christian Veiby, Nikolay Gryazin and Jari Huttunen.

South Estonia comprises of 11 stages totalling 72 miles, including two spectator-friendly superspecial tests.

While Lappi is competing in Estonia, his employers will be hosting the M-Sport Return to Rally Stages in the UK. A number of his colleagues are expected to compete with five yet to be confirmed entries on the start list.