Rally Estonia, which last year became the official promotional event of FIA World Rally Championship after being dropped out from the FIA European Rally Championship, has been cancelled for this year.
The rally which is organized in Southern Estonia had gathered international names for the event July, a couple of weeks before the Finnish round of the WRC. Last year, the rally was held as an official event for WRC where at least one driver from each WRC team would participate. Ott Tänak, who represented Toyota at the time, won the event.
Last autumn the organizers of Rally Estonia and the WRC Promoter agreed to continue their collaboration in the form of a promotional competition in summer. The competition was set for 24-26. July, one week after the Safari Rally and two weeks before the Neste Rally Finland.
However, organisers of the Rally Estonia and the Estonian Motorsport Federation have not found an agreement as the federation is demanding EUR 100,000 from the organisers for international competition, a huge increase on last years EUR 2,000.
“This is unreal. No country has seen a 5,000% price increase. I dare say that this is a violation of competition law,” Tarmo Hõbe told Postimees.
“We have run Rally Estonia with three people and now the union wants to play its part. Previously, there was no interest in the competition. Now that we have the organization and the finances in place, they are beginning to do the bad service. We want to work together, but they must first make sense,”
Oleg Gross, a member of the EAL and a longtime supporter of various motor racing competitions, said he was ready to pay EUR 100,000 from his own funds.
Rally Estonia organizer Urmo Ava revealed that although this year’s rally will not take place, they will work to ensure that the rally continues in the future.