Rally Estonia cancelled amid funding dispute

The popular Rally Finland warm-up event is off after agreement could not be found with the local governing body


This year’s Rally Estonia has been cancelled after the event organizers were unable to find agreement with the national governing body, the Estonian Auto Union.

The Tartu-based rally – designated an official WRC Promotional Event – had been scheduled to run from July 24-26. Like last year, all three world championship manufacturers were expected to attend and compete as part of their pre-Rally Finland build-up.

As DirtFish outlined last week, the Rally Estonia organizers had come into conflict with the governing body of Estonian motorsport.

One source told DirtFish: “The ASN [governing body] is essentially taking money back from some of the international events running in Estonia – this is for them to invest money back into the sport.

“OK, that can make some sense, but this is not how we are working with Rally Estonia. This is money from the government and the money, the profit, if you like, has to go back to the government or we don’t get so good investment in the first place.

“This seems like some sort of crazy situation where we lose our biggest motorsport event in the world – one where our world champion Ott Tänak would have had the chance to come and drive again with his home fans – for a really strange reason.”

Rally director Urmo Aava was unavailable for comment when DirtFish contacted him – he was in the middle of the press conference announcing the decision to cancel what has become one of Europe’s most popular rallies ever.