This year, the organizers of WRC Rally Estonia offer exciting innovations for both spectators and competitors
- This year's WRC Rally Estonia spectator areas offer unforgettable emotions for all types of rally fans
- The service park located on the territory of the Estonian National Museum (ERM) has many added values - EXPO and trading areas, whereas entrance is free for spectators
- The WRC Rally Estonia stages have also many new additions
The WRC Rally Estonia, which will be held from July 20 to 23 this year, offers two types of spectator areas for rally fans, entertainment for the whole family, and competitors can expect a pleasant race with some innovations in Tartu and on the roads of Tartu, Otepää, Elva, Kanepi, Kambja, Kastre, Peipsiääre and Mustvee parishes.
The WRC Rally Estonia 2023 spectator areas are suitable for all types of rally fans
This year, the Rally Estonia organizing team has approached the spectators in such a way that there are opportunities for every type of rally fan - there are extraordinary experiences for both hardcore rally fans and those who are looking for convenient and versatile solutions. Feedback from previous years has been taken into account and several hours of footage from the internal cameras of the competition cars have been reviewed in order to understand which places attract the most spectators.
As a result, the WRC Rally Estonia team has prepared 14 ARENA and 47 AREA type spectator areas for this year's competition. The large ARENA-type viewing areas have everything necessary to comfortably watch the rally for both families and groups of friends, because there is something for everyone. Those moving with caravans and those who want to camp are also welcome to the arenas.
ARENA type spectator areas include:
- Easier access and better parking possibilities
- LED screen for watching the live broadcast
- Rally radio
- Sportland pop-up stores for fan merchandise
Thursday on July 20 begins with a spectacular opening ceremony and the start podium in the center of Tartu, on the Town Hall Square, and after the start podium, large spectator arena awaits spectators on special stage taking place in the Raadi Manor park on SSS1.
On Friday, visitors can choose their favorite spectator areas, but it is definitely worth visiting the Selgise arena on Peipsiääre special stage, Kääpa arena on the Mustvee special stage and Niitvälja arena on the Raanitsa special stage.
On Saturday, it is possible to choose between seven different ARENA-type spectator areas, among which are also the legendary Alaküla, Truuta and Kulbilohu spectator arenas, moreover the the Mügra spectator arena located at the Kanepi special stage will definitely offer exciting experiences. This year, there is no VIP area planned at one of Rally Estonia's most legendary jumps – the Alaküla jump, which means that many rally fans will be able to explore the aerial flights of cars even closer.
Sunday certainly offers a lot of adrenaline, and there is also a new special stage taking place on Sunday morning, called Karaski special stage. Certainly, all rally fans are invited to the legendary Leigo spectator arena, which is located at the finish of the Powerstage and where the winner of WRC Rally Estonia 2023 will also be determined, while spectators can watch the entire award ceremony.
AREA-type spectator areas are designed to provide the most authentic rally experience and are located in adrenaline-filled places where you can watch the rally cars for a long time, whereas there are also fast corners and long jumps. Based on the experience of previous years and feedback from the fans, the spectator areas have been extended so that you can choose the right curve, jump or straight section, that you find most attractive to watch and experience the rally. An example is on the Mustvee special stage, where we have connected two spectator areas and made it 4 km length in total.
The organizers are confident that this year there will be many different options for spectators to choose from and every rally fan will find the coolest places and the most awesome experience! The organizer reminds everyone that the rally can be observed in the designated spectator areas and with this we avoid the possibility of someone accidentally ending up in a place where they endanger their safety, that of others, as well as the safety of the rally.
In addition to the spectator areas, there are many improvements done in the Service park, located on the territory of the Estonian National Museum (ERM), the entrance to which is free for spectators this year. The Service park area includes EXPO, partner areas, pop-up stores and various additional activities, there is something for the whole family to enjoy!
Moreover, it is possible to observe the activities of the top teams of the world championship in the Service Park both in daytime and evening services and listen to the interviews of the TOP3 best on two evenings.
The general map of WRC Rally Estonia 2023 will be available soon, which will give fans the opportunity to study the various spectator areas, arenas and other key locations.
Urmo Aava, director of WRC Rally Estonia:
"For the fourth year in a row, the World Championship round will be held in Estonia. Our team and I have learned a lot from the previous three years and from further past. At some point we became quite commercial, but we learned that there were other directions which are more appealing. Through these arenas and areas, I dare to say that this year we have something special to offer for absolutely every rally fan. Those who like to have a good time can enjoy the rally from the arenas and those who like privacy and being in the forest with friends, we offer areas, therefore the choice is quite wide for this year.
We have analyzed a lot of the onboard video footage of previous years' and seen where the people still want to go, and this year we are also offering those opportunities."
The WRC Rally Estonia stages have also undergone some changes and improvements
The opening day of this year's Rally Estonia is in a completely new area. The Shakedown stage is now located in Kastre municipality, Uniküla, and its length is 4.08 km instead of the previous 6.23 km. Historical rally lovers know it as part of one of the special stages of the 2016 year Tartu Rally. The opening stage of the competition will still be run on Thursday evening at Raadi Manor Park, but the already familiar 1.66 km long stage has been extended to 3.49 kilometers.
Friday, the first full-length competition day, is quite similar to last year, and the special stages are also the same - Peipsiääre, Mustvee, Raanitsa. The only difference is that on Friday, the Neeruti special stage, which was run on Saturday last year, will be run only once. For the second year in a row, the participants of the Estonian Championship will also take part of Rally Estonia on Friday, apart from the WRC class competitors, they will drive the first pass of each stage.
On Saturday, special stages are run in two blocks. The day starts with the Mäeküla special stage, which is the same as in 2022. The first 8 km of the Otepää special stage have remained the same compared to last year, after which they turn onto the road, which will finish where the Vastsemõisa special stage started last year. The second half of the day is dedicated to Elva and Kanepi special stages, and Saturday's competition day ends again at Raadi, in the Manor park.
Sunday morning starts with a completely new Karaski special stage. In previous years, one small section of it has been driven, but no more. The Powerstage will remain Kambja, just like in 2022. The first 4.5 km of the special stage is a new section, but at the same time partially familiar to the competitors from last year's Shakedown. The Powerstage finish is once again just by the picturesque Leigo lakes, where we are waiting for all rally fans to join us and celebrate!
Urmas Roosimaa, Clerk of the Course of WRC Rally Estonia:
"The goal of this year's WRC Rally Estonia will be to organize a very enjoyable and safe rally. Fans will have plenty of places to go and they can enjoy being there in the forest, with the efforts of the world's and Estonia's best competitors on stages. By following the rally program, you can get a good overview so that fans can make plans early. We have nothing easy to offer the competitors, because the stages have become more technical and complicated. Since Raadi's long special stage will not be run this year, I think the average speed of the competition will increase a little."
WRC Rally Estonia tickets are available in the Rally Estonia e-shop, Piletilevi.ee e-shop and Piletilevi sales points across Estonia, including Circle K stations.
This year, the organizers have taken a step forward towards an even more sustainable future and abandoned physical wristbands, selling digital tickets for the first time. It is important to mention that the VIP passes still have the usual wristband solution.
Rally Estonia Marketing Manager Camilla Themas:
"We believe that in addition to a more environmentally friendly solution, this digital innovation will make buying tickets and visiting the rally significantly easier and more convenient for all rally fans. In addition to a more convenient and smarter ticket system, we have invested a lot together with the organizing team to make the experience for rally fans at Rally Estonia even more emotional, more adrenaline-rich and to create various additional opportunities. "
Rally Estonia is a round of the 2023 FIA World Rally Championship, which will be held in Tartu and on the roads of Tartu, Otepää, Elva, Kanepi, Kambja, Kastre, Peipsiääre and Mustvee parishes on the 20th to 23rd of July 2023.