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It's now just over a month until the World Rally Championship returns – nearly six months after the series was cut short in Mexico due to the Coronavirus. Details of Rally Estonia’s (4 - 6 September) first itinerary as an FIA World Rally Championship round have been revealed by organisers. The rally, which has been added to the calendar for the first time and restarts the series after the Covid-19 lockdown, will run to a short format schedule. It starts on Friday evening before two days of competition on fast gravel roads across the weekend. The fourth round of the WRC season is based in Tartu, in the south of the country, with the service park at the Estonian National Museum at the city’s Raadi Airfield. After Friday morning’s Abissaare (6.23km) shakedown, competition begins that evening with the short Tartu (1.28km) stage next to the service park. An early start on Saturday will catch out anyone struggling to wake up as the day begins with the longest test of the event, Prangli (20.23km). It is followed by Kanepi (16.89km) before a remote refuel in Otepää. The live TV Otepää (9.60km) precedes Mäeküla (14.76km), with Elva (11.72km) rounding off the morning. After service at Raadi, the five tests are repeated in the afternoon, making a total of 146.40km of competition. Sunday follows a similar format with three early morning stages which are repeated later. After a 06.02 restart, drivers face Arula (6.97km), Kaagvere (15.46km) and the live TV Kambja (20.05km). There will be no service before the trio of tests are tackled for a second time. The final Wolf Power Stage in Kambja precedes the finish podium ceremony at Raadi. The 17 tests cover 232.64km in a total route of 871.89km. The biggest motorsport event in the Baltic states is being held for the 10th time and has been won for the last two years, as a non-championship fixture, by reigning world champion and home hero Ott Tänak. It has significant backing from the country’s government, which has formed a special committee to minimise the risk from Coronavirus. “All the Covid-19 rules and restrictions in force in Estonia during Rally Estonia are observed. We believe that by following the rules and guidelines we can host a safe and spectacular competition,” the organising team emphasised in the event’s Rally Guide 1 document.
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