Esapekka Lappi is the first WRC star to be confirmed for this summer’s WRC promotional event at Shell Helix Rally Estonia.
The Finn and co-driver Janne Ferm will drive their usual Citroën C3 World Rally Car at the three-day rally in southern Estonia on 12 - 14 July.
Lappi finished fifth on his previous Estonia outing in 2015 and views the rally as a crucial part of his preparations for the WRC’s Neste Rally Finland, a short distance across the Baltic Sea, three weeks later.
“Rally Finland is obviously very important to me. I’m happy to be able to take advantage of this additional chance to drive, in order to approach the rally as prepared as possible,” he said.
“The Estonian stages have so many similarities to those in the Jyväskylä region and the local fans show us such an enthusiastic welcome.”
Citroën Racing team principal Pierre Budar said competing in Estonia last season contributed greatly to the squad’s second place at Rally Finland with Mads Østberg.
“It is now with this same objective that we return with Esapekka in order to prepare him for the WRC round on his home soil as much as possible and to gain data that will be beneficial to Sebastien Ogier,” he said.
Earlier this year Estonia’s government pledged its formal support for the rally, in a country which is one of the championship’s fan hotspots, as an Official WRC Promotional Event.