WRC Estonia 2022 Preview: Tänak vs Rovanperä, duel of the titans 
After its  African detour, the World Rally Championship returns to the old continent to celebrate the WRC Rally Estonia 2022. The seventh round of the season is gearing up for a vibrant duel between national hero Ott Tänak (Hyundai) and Kalle Rovanperä (Toyota), dominant leader of the standings. Both rivals shared the top of the podium here in Estonia in its last two editions. 

After winning four of the six races ( Croatia, SwedenPortugal & Kenya) disputed so far in the season, the Finn leads the standings with 65 points over Thierry Neuville (Hyundai). His superiority is such, that even with the disadvantage of opening the track on Friday in Portugal or Kenya, he still crushed his rivals.



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On top of his great state of form, the GR Yaris will be debuting some engine updates as well as a new rear spoiler. With these improvements, the Japanese force hopes to improve – even more – the mechanical reliability and performance of their car. The young Scandinavian is therefore the rival to beat in the very fast stages of this weekend’s race in Tartu. 

Elfyn Evans and Esapekka Lappi will share the third red and white missile to complete Toyota’s line-up, the latter returning in replacement of eighth-time WRC champion, Sébastien Ogier. Takamoto Katsuta will sit behind the wheel of a fourth private Toyota unit with factory support. 



Tänak: Hoping for a home victory 

After their legendary result in Kenya, where they swept the top four positions, the Toyotas arrive in Estonia as the clear favourites. This is, however, Ott Tänak’s (Hyundai) territory.

Spurred on by the unconditional support of his compatriots, the local idol will try and repeat his home triumph of 2020. This would be a very sweet outcome for Tänak somehow compensating for a very grey season in which his only victory has been Sardinia. 

The driver from Kärla is currently drawn up level with Katsuta in third, 81 points down from the lead. Completing Hyundai’s line-up will be the team’s other full-time driver, Thierry Neuville and the young Swede Oliver Solberg. 



M-Sport and Craig Breen dream of a podium 

Craig Breen, Gus Greensmith, Adrien Fourmaux and Pierre-Louis Loubet will be defending the colours of Cumbrian team M-Sport. The Irishman, who holds a great track record in the Baltic round –two podiums in 2020 and 2021– will be the team’s spearhead. The formidable speed of the Ford Puma Rally 1 could work in their favour in a round where pure mechanical performance is key at the WRC Rally Estonia 2022. 



The route of the WRC Rally Estonia 2022 

The WRC Rally Estonia 2022 retains most of its 2021 route in combination with some stages from 2020. Its fast dirt roads with numerous gradient changes leave no margin for error and crews cannot afford to relax even for a moment. If the predicted rain finally makes an appearance, the Rally 1 contenders will be faced with an even more challenging scenario. 

The rally will take place over 24 stages, comprising 313.84 km across four days of competition. The action will start on Thursday with a super special near the service park, an appetizer for Friday when the real fire will begin.

This will be the longest day of Rally Estonia WRC 2022 with four double-pass stages at Peipsiääre (24.35km), Mustvee (17.09km), Raanitsa (21.45km) and Vastsemõisa (6.70km), and a total distance of 139.18 km. 

Saturday will maintain Friday’s format in Elva (11.73 km), Mäeküla 1 (10.27 km), Otepää (17.08 km) and Neeruti (7.60 km) to conclude in Tartu 2 (1.66 km) for a total distance of 95.02 km. On Sunday, Tartu Vald (6.56 km), Kanepi (16.48 km) and Kambja (15.95 km) will be run twice, to add the remaining 77.98 km.

Images of Rally Estonia WRC 2022: WRC.com.

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