Delfi Rally Estonia
Fia WRC Autosport

ERC Delfi Rally Estonia presented the plans for the European Championship round starting in 28 days at Rotermanni's central square

  • Delfi Rally Estonia signed cooperation agreements with sponsors
  • To the delight of Estonian rally fans, Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja will participate in the
  • Delfi Rally Estonia
  • The event starts in 28 days and will be attended by the best of both the ERC series and the Estonian Championship
  • The organizers have prepared more than 30 spectator areas for rally fans
  • 5MIINUST and Puuluup will perform at the official Delfi Rally Estonia concert at the central square of Elva

On Thursday, 6 June, the official press conference of this year's ERC Delfi Rally Estonia took place on the central square of Rotermanni quarter in Tallinn, where cooperation contracts were signed, the plans and activities of the upcoming European Championship (ERC) round were introduced and the top Estonian drivers participating in the local top rally were interviewed.
Rally Estonia is back on the ERC calendar after a seven-year break. Also, the headquarters of the rally and service park are located in Tehvandi Sports Center in Otepää after a four-year break. The opening and finish podium of the rallies is located again in a traditional place in the heart of Tartu, at the Town Hall Square.
The best of the European championships will compete in the fourth round of the ERC season on the roads of South Estonia on 5-7 July. ERC Delfi Rally Estonia is also one of the junior, i.e. JERC rounds. The ERC round held in Estonia this year offers both familiar and new challenges to competitors. The stages of Raanitsa and Karaski have remained the same. However, the city stage of Elva, the world champion Martin Järveoja's hometown, is back. As the Power Stage of the rally, Kambja stage awaits the drivers in a new and highly technical format. For the third year in a row, the round of the Estonian championship will also be held during the weekend of Delfi Rally Estonia, where the participants with EMV9 class, i.e. trucks, will also attend this time.
The total of 14 stages will be passed this year as part of ERC Delfi Rally Estonia, ten of them (six regarding EMV9) will be used to score points in the Estonian championship. In addition to the organizers of Delfi Rally Estonia, many Estonian top drivers who will be competing with the best in Europe after 28 days at the home event of ERC - Ott Tänak, Georg Linnamäe, Robert Virves, Romet Jürgenson, Jaspar Vaher, Patrick Enok, Karl-Markus Sei and Joosep Ralf Nõgene - also took the floor at today's press conference.

Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja are preparing for the WRC rallies in Latvia and Finland on their home roads

Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja, who won the 20th WRC rally of their career in Sardinia last weekend, will start in the Estonian championship at their home event ERC Delfi Rally Estonia. Second place holders in the current WRC standings will compete on their home roads in a Hyundai i20 N Rally1 car and their aim is to prepare for the WRC rallies in Latvia and Finland together with the Hyundai team.
Ott Tänak, World Champion 2019: "The first three or four rallies of this season lacked momentum and stability. After that, the blocks have started to fit together more, and the last rallies have been more positive. Let’s see what the rest of the year will bring. The whole rally sport is in a whirlwind of innovation and hopefully something interesting will emerge from here and there will be some next steps. Our sport at its core is full of adrenaline and a lot of action. That's what the fans actually like. Rally Estonia has been the innovator for many years and Rally Estonia has always been an example for everyone in the entire series. My most positive emotion with Rally Estonia is the victory in the first year (WRC 2020). After that, again, the blocks have not matched for some reason. This is what we hope to change and win again in the future."

The European Champion Hayden Paddon and two-time winner of Rally Estonia Mads Østberg provide fierce competition to the top Estonian drivers

The European Rally Championship season started in April with a gravel round in Hungary and the series continued at the beginning of May at the asphalt rally in the Canary Islands. Prior to the third round of the season in Sweden next week, the round wins have been divided between two crews and as many as 24 crews have collected points in the overall score. Many of them will also be at the start of ERC Delfi Rally Estonia, which will be held around Otepää during the first weekend of July, led by reigning European champions Hayden Paddon / John Kennard and two-time Rally Estonia winner Mads Østberg with Patrick Barth taking the co-driver’s seat. Georg Linnamäe and Robert Virves, who participated in today's press conference, also hope to perform well on their home roads.
RedGrey Team pilot Georg Linnamäe: "I think that the season started very positively and due to bad luck, the last three rallies have not been successful. The momentum has been okay, and we are moving forwa'rd positively. At Rally Estonia, we are going to win this year. The feeling was good last year, and the car is also very good this year."
In the ERC Junior class, where Jaspar Vaher / Sander Pruul took the podium place in the opening round of the season and Karl-Markus Sei / Martin Leotoots took the seventh place in the second round, the overall leaders Mille Johansson / Johan Grönvall are coming to the start.

More than 30 spectator areas await spectators and 5MIINUST and Puuluup will perform at the official concert in the central square of Elva

At ERC Delfi Rally Estonia this year more than 30 spectator areas are waiting for rally fans, which are divided into two different types - AREEN and AREA. There should be plenty of different options for families who prefer more comfortable viewing as well as for serious rally fans and for those coming with a motorcycle or caravan. Tehvandi Sports Center welcomes spectators to the service park with the participants and teams of both the ERC and Estonian championships, which is open on all three days and the entrance is FREE.
Delfi Rally Estonia's adrenaline-filled rally weekend begins on Friday, 5 July, at Town Hall Square in the centre of Tartu, where a spectacular opening ceremony and the starting podium will take place. In the morning of the same day the qualification stage will also be held in Otepää municipality. The starting podium will be followed by the stage on Friday evening in Raadi manor park. The stages on Saturday, 6 July, will take place on the roads of Kambja, Kanepi, Otepää and Elva rural municipalities. On the second night of Rally Estonia’s weekend the official ERC Delfi Rally Estonia concert will take place on the central square of Elva, where 5MIINUST and Puuluup will perform. On Sunday, 7 July, the best of Europe will race again on the roads of Kanepi, Kambja and Otepää. The adrenaline-filled ERC weekend ends with the finish podium at Tartu Town Hall square.
Delfi Rally Estonia does not lack traditional fan products either. This year's collection includes the main collection most expected by rally fans as well as a more leisure type special collection. In cooperation with Sportland, Delfi Rally Estonia's fan products have been at a very high level since the early years. The brand-new official merchandise collection will soon be available in Sportland's e-shop, larger stores and, of course, at the event itself.
Urmo Aava, rally director of ERC Delfi Rally Estonia: "Why we like ERC as an organizer is that in this series it is possible to win with a Rally2 car. If we look at how many Estonians have the opportunity to compete either with their own or a rented Rally2 car, I would dare to say that there are more than three drivers. Estonians also have very good chances of winning in the Rally3 and Rally4 classes, where several talented young Estonians are coming to the start. In other words, the Estonians have a much better chance of winning the rally in the ERC series and the fans have a chance to cheer even more for our own local heroes. We expect approximately 60 crews to start in the ERC and the same number in the Estonian Championship and in the Delfi Rally Estonia Trophy. By its very nature, rallying is an active sport that offers adrenaline and emotion over several days. It's the best time to plan your vacation and come to Tartu and Southern Estonia together with your family and cheer on to the top drivers of the rally world."
The Official Rally Magazine of ERC Delfi Rally Estonia that includes information on all of the stages and spectator areas and many other exciting things, is on sale at Circle K stations across Estonia from today. The digital version will be available in Delfi’s website from 17th of June.

ERC Delfi Rally Estonia 2024 will be held on the roads of Tartu, Otepää and South Estonia on 5-7 July. The total of 14 stages await the competitors and the total length of the rally is 187.64 kilometres. Rally passes, day passes and VIP passes are on sale on the website of Rally Estonia and in Piletitasku.

Photo: Karli Saul