TOYOTA GAZOO RACING HAS CONFIRMED OTT TÄNAK WILL CONTEST SHELL HELIX RALLY ESTONIA, ENSURING ALL FOUR WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP MANUFACTURERS ARE REPRESENTED AT THE OFFICIAL WRC PROMOTIONAL EVENT. Tänak and co-driver Martin Järveoja won the biggest rally in their homeland last year and look forward to defending that victory on the 12-14 July event.

Nine-time world rally winner Tänak said: “I’m really happy we can return to Rally Estonia this year and drive the Toyota Yaris WRC on our home roads again.

“It is nice to see the event getting stronger every year and this time it looks as though the competition is going to be even tougher, with every WRC team taking part.

I know from last year that competing on these fast roads is really good preparation for us and the team before Rally Finland. But above all, it was a great feeling to win in front of so many of our fans and I hope we can bring them the same enjoyment this time.”

Citroën Racing will field a C3 WRC for Esapekka Lappi; Elfyn Evans drives an M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC and Hyundai Motorsport will run a pair of i20 Coupe WRCs for its latest recruit Craig Breen, alongside Andreas Mikkelsen.

Toyota Gazoo Racing team principal Tommi Mäkinen said he hoped his driver’s success on the Otepää-based event would be a good omen – as it was 12 months ago.

The Finn said: “Last year, Ott and Martin won Rally Estonia and then dominated in Finland a few weeks later, so I’m hoping that it can have a similar benefit this year!

“We are pleased to be competing on Rally Estonia again this year with Ott and Martin. We see so many Estonian fans supporting us on rallies all around the world, so it is great for us to compete in front of them.”

Director of Shell Helix Rally Estonia Urmo Aava was similarly pleased to see his country’s most successful driver ever confirmed.

“At this moment,” said Aava, “it is very hard for me to find the right words. For the moments like this we have worked hard with our team through all the years.

“I believe we will see tens of thousands of spectators cheering for all the drivers at Shell Helix Rally Estonia. The level of WRC drivers and competition is extremely high this year. We appreciate the effort from every team and from our side we do everything possible to give good emotions to the drivers, teams and fans throughout the weekend.

“Ott and Martin are coming Shell Helix Rally Estonia as the leaders of WRC and I hope that the good feeling they will get from here helps them to continue the second half of WRC season with victories. And to step forward to their goal – to win the World Championship title!”