The three-day short format with which Estonia broke through the pandemic to restart the FIA World Rally Championship last September has been increased to a more traditional four. It brings high-speed 24 special stages covering 324.16km to the biggest motorsport event in the Baltics.
Thursday evening’s start ceremony at the Estonian National Museum service park at Tartu’s Raadi Airfield leads directly into the Visit Estonia Tartu (1.64km) parkland stage, just a few hundred metres away.
Friday’s opening leg is centred around Otepää in south Estonia, regarded as the country’s winter capital. A double loop of Arula (12.68km), Otepää (17.05km), which contains the spectacular Alaküla jump, Kanepi (16.54km) and Kambja (17.85km) are separated by service.
The eight tests total 128.24km and while the names are familiar from 2020, the routes have been modified to keep crews on their toes.
Video: Rally Estonia – the stages
Saturday brings four challenging new stages for the longest leg of the weekend, containing 132.18km of action. It follows the same format, with identical loops driven morning and afternoon.
Peipsääre (23.63km), the longest test of the rally, and Mustvee (12.28km) lie north of Tartu. They are followed by Raanitsa (22.76km) and Vastsemõisa (6.70km) to the south. The day is wrapped up with an evening re-run of Thursday’s curtain-raiser in Tartu (1.64km).
Six tests covering 52.10km comprise Sunday’s finale. Neeruti (7.82km) and Elva (11.72km), south of the host town, are followed by Tartu vald (6.51km). All three are repeated, with the latter forming the Wolf Power Stage and finishing in the service park ahead of the podium ceremony.
Only Sunday’s Elva test is the same as last year.
• Full coverage from Rally Estonia will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park.