Rally Estonia is set to join the European Rally Championship bunch next year in what will be the second season of the revamped series, run and promoted by the Eurosport Events. Here’s what event organizers have to say about this unique opportunity.
auto24 Rally Estonia is a round of FIA European Rally Championship
Next year’s auto24 Rally Estonia, held on 17-19th of July, moves a big step ahead as it reaches the goal the organizing team set two years ago. Following meeting of the FIA Rally Commission held in Geneva, it was voted that auto24 Rally Estonia will become a part of the 12 round FIA European Rally Championship 2014 and it means that the Special Stages in South-Estonia will be waiting for the best rallydrivers of Europe. The final FIA ERC calendar is pending on final ratification of the FIA World Motorsport Council.
Urmo Aava, director of auto24 Rally Estonia: „We are very glad that we have an opportunity to organize such a great sporting event. Considering the level the FIA and Eurosport Events have reached, auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 will be the biggest autosport event ever held in Estonia. Many former WRC events are a part of ERC, new R5 cars from Ford, Peugeot and Citroen will be on the market next year, so I believe we will see the strongest drivers’ line-up of all times in ERC 2014. Our aim is to become the best organized rally in ERC series. Having received a positive report from the FIA about 2013 auto24 Rally Estonia’s technical organization, we have a good feeling about this.“
Francois Ribeiro, Motorsport Director of Eurosport Events: „As championship Promoter, Eurosport Events is very happy to get auto 24 Rally Estonia into ERC calendar. This event has the potential to bring to ERC what Neste Rally Finland brings to WRC : spectacular fast stages, jumps, local enthousiam and „more than a rally“. ERC will gain a great gravel event, well promoted, in a country where rallying means something to anyone in the street.“
auto24 Rally Estonia will bring to Estonia drivers, teams, media and more than 10 000 rallyfans from 20 countries and the organizers believe that the total number of spectators will reach 40 000. Via Eurosport and their partners TV-coverage and promotion of the rally reaches around 20 million viewers in different continents. Taking all this into account, the rally will bring an estimated 5 million euros direct impact and more than 5 million euros indirect positive impact to Estonian economy.
The whole budget of auto24 Rally Estonia 2014 is 900 000 euros. Having 72% of it covered, the organizing team is working hard to find the final fundings. auto24.ee will continue as the name sponsor of Rally Estonia in 2014.
Becoming a round of ERC, auto24 Rally Estonia’s activities will spread across South-Estonia even more than in the previous years. Rally start and finish podium will be moved to Tartu, the second biggest city in Estonia, where also a city Special Stage will be run. On Friday night, a big concert in Tartu will be a part of auto24 Rally Estonia’s entertainment programme. Rally Headquarters, Service Park, commercial and entertainment areas are situated in Tehvandi Sports Center at Otepää. The competitors will face a total of 235 km of Special Stages on the curvy gravel roads of Valga, Võru, Põlva and Tartu counties.
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 the 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.
photo: Georg Gross