In the first offcial press conference of auto24 Rally Estonia, held on Thursday 12th of June, was announced that Estonian top driver Ott Tänak will start with Ford Fiesta R5 in auto24 Rally Estonia held on 17-19th of July. For Tänak this is also the first start in FIA ERC series.
„We are very glad that we can start in our home event which is a round of FIA ERC series. I belive that me and my co-driver Raigo Mõlder are getting good emotions from this rally and our aim is of course fight for the victory. But it won’t be easy as there will be for sure many fast local and foreign drivers. I’m sure the competition will be strong,“ told Tänak in the press conference.
The centre of the rally moves from Otepää to Tartu, second biggest city in Estonia. In the city centre of Tartu there will be ceremonial start and finish of auto24 Rally Estonia. Super special on Friday evening is also in the streets of Tartu and during the rally every day ends in the centre of Tartu with big concerts where Estonian top artists are performing.
„Altough we have added Tartu to our rally, the service park and headquarter of the rally will still be in Otepää. Also the stages are close to Otepää. There is no big distance between Otepää and Tartu, just 40 kilometers,“ told auto24 Rally Estonia director Urmo Aava in the press conference.
In the press conference Eurosport Events was also present with Jean-Baptiste Ley, European Rally Championship Coordinator.
„We believe that auto24 Rally Estonia will add more value to FIA ERC series. It is a strong event with amazing landscape, stunning stages and very well organised by a very proactive and motivated team led by Urmo Aava. We expect good and exciting competition between local and ERC Drivers to produce the most interesting ERC TV programme, broadcast on Eurosport, 26 minutes from each rally day and 26 min more with Inside ERC mag on Tuesday evening“ told Ley in the press conference.
Jean-Baptiste Ley and Jean-Pierre Nicolas, ERC sporting manager were inspecting auto24 Rally Estonia stages in the end of May and impression was very good.
“From sporting aspect, Rally Estonia has the most beautiful stages in the world! Large, smooth, not dangerous, with some jumps, the surface is perfect and allows large slides, it is not rough. It will be a pleasure for all drivers, it is a mix between the most beautiful stages in Finland and in New Zealand,“ was Nicolas satisfied.
FIA European Rally Championship is the longest running rally championship, celebrating 62 years in 2014. Starting from 2013, the promotor of the series is Eurosport Events who made a 10-year-agreement with FIA.
In addition to being a part of ERC in 2014, auto24 Rally Estonia is also a round of FIA European Historic Sporting Rally Championship and Estonian Autorally Championship. auto24 Rally Estonia is held on 17-19th of July.
In the photo from left: Tõnu Seil, Ministry of Culture Head of Sports Department, Ott Tänak, rally driver, Urmo Aava, director of auto24 Rally Estonia and Jean-Baptiste Ley, European Rally Championship Coordinator. Credit to the picture: Jaanus Ree