WRC Promotional Event
Shell Helix Rally Estonia


  • Estonia’s second largest city, Tartu, hosts the first-ever WRC Promotional Rally. Fast gravel roads with plenty of crests and jumps are paired with more technical sections on both wide and narrow forest roads. The action surrounds the country’s winter capital, Otepää, where the service park is located.


  • Saturday’s opening leg is the longest, covering 91.78km. It features nine stages, including four tests which are each driven twice, split by regular service breaks at Otepää to allow WRC teams to trial different car set-ups.
  • The day ends with a short street stage in Elva, the home town of Martin Järveoja, co-driver to Ott Tänak.
  • Sunday’s finale comprises six more tests, totaling 60.20km. Two are repeated and the rally closes with the Tartu City stage, immediately ahead of the town hall podium ceremony.

Iconic Stage

  • Saturday’s 9.30km Rüa test is a classic which has been part of Rally Estonia from the first year back in 2010. The fast and flowing roads contain many technical crests and tight corners. The highlight is the Alaküla jump, where cars fly almost 40 metres. 



  • Fast and technical gravel roads, with numerous jumps and crests, demand pin-point pace note accuracy. With such high speeds, there is no room for error.
  • The speed. It has been almost 12 months since the WRC’s drivers have encountered such fast roads.
  • WRC teams use the event as preparation for championship counter Neste Rally Finland later in the month, so drivers are eager to find a car set-up suitable for Finland’s similarly super-fast roads.

Car Setup

  • Gravel suspension.
  • A full range of tyres, from soft to hard compound, can be used. The roads are smooth but can become rutted for the second pass.

Event History

  • The rally was born when former co-driver Silver Kütt, driver Urmo Aava and marketing mastermind Tarmo Hõbe dreamed up the idea for Rally Estonia.
  • First run in 2010 when Estonia’s Markko Märtin won.
  • Other winners include Mads Østberg in 2011 and 2012 and current Toyota Gazoo driver and Estonian hero Ott Tänak, who was victorious in 2014 and 2018.
  • Rally Estonia was part of the European Rally Championship (ERC) from 2014 to 2016 and was voted best ERC rally in 2014.

Top Highlights

  • The rally kicks off with a ceremonial start on Friday night when cars drive over the Emajõgi arch bridge to the town hall podium in Tartu in front of thousands of fans.
  • Once on the podium, the top 10 drivers will select their start position for Saturday’s opening leg.
  • Thousands of fans pack into Saturday afternoon’s Rüa test to watch the spectacular Alaküla jump. The good news for lovers of the high-fliers is that the test is driven twice.
  • A double-dose of exciting street stages. Saturday ends with a 1.66km stage through Elva, while the rally closes the following day with a 1.50km test in host city Tartu.
  • Sunday’s podium. The event has gained a well-earned reputation for its spectacular finale in the centre of Tartu, where thousands of fans flock to greet the winners.

17 May 2019