History of Rally Estonia
The idea to organize a new rally was born over 11 years ago when Silver Kütt, a co-driver with the experience of participating in seven WRC rallies, presented his idea to his good friend, a former WRC driver Urmo Aava. After sharing the idea with a “marketing mastermind” Tarmo Hõbe, who named the new rally “Rally Estonia”, first steps were taken.
The idea that first seemed unbelievable back in 2009, has grown year by year and now Rally Estonia has become a WRC event. The first Rally Estonia took place in 2010 and the first ever winner of the rally was a local hero Markko Märtin who has won five World Championship rallies back in his WRC career. The first two-time champion of the event was Mads Østberg, the winner of Portugal WRC rally 2012, who was fastest at Rally Estonia in the years 2011 and 2012.
The high competitive level with the help and contribution of Märtin, Østberg and Latvala family raised the bar high for the organizers to keep. From 2014 until 2016 Rally Estonia was part of the European Rally Championship (ERC) and in 2014 it was voted as the best ERC rally of the year.
Besides local stars Rally Estonia has welcomed many world top rally drivers over the years, such as WRC drivers Thierry Neuville, Esapekka Lappi, Jari-Matti Latvala, Teemu Suninen, Craig Breen, Hayden Paddon, Yazeed Al-Rajhi, Martin Prokop, Toni Gardemeister and ERC Champions Alexey Lukyanuk and Kajetan Kajetanowicz and the rising young gun Oliver Solberg who R5 class won last year.
From 2018 to 2020, the race was dominated by our local heroes and 2019 World Rally Champions Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja, but in 2021 Kalle Rovanperä won the historic victory, winning the rally as the youngest competitor in the WRC history.
Previous winners of Rally Estonia
- 2010 Markko Märtin-Kristo Kraag, Ford Focus RS WRC
- 2011 Mads Østberg-Jonas Andersson, Ford Fiesta RS WRC
- 2012 Mads Østberg-Jonas Andersson, Ford Fiesta RS WRC
- 2013 Georg Gross-Raigo Mõlder, Ford Focus RS WRC
- 2014 Ott Tänak-Raigo Mõlder, Ford Fiesta R5
- 2015 Alexey Lukyanuk-Alexey Arnautov, Mitsubishi Lancer EVO X
- 2016 Ralfs Sirmacis-Maris Kulšs, Škoda Fabia R5
- 2018 Ott Tänak-Martin Järveoja, Toyota Yaris WRC
- 2019 Ott Tänak-Martin Järveoja, Toyota Yaris WRC
- 2020 Ott Tänak-Martin Järveoja, Hyundai i20 WRC
- 2021 Kalle Rovanperä-Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Yaris WRC