Tue 18 Jul 2023

What to expect from Rally Estonia

It’s time. The real festival of speed is about to begin. And, once again, it’s a double-header, with the mind-bendingly quick roads of Estonia and Finland challenging the world’s fastest rally cars and drivers across the next two and a half weeks.

It’s going to be hectic. It always is. Nothing in the season compares with the summer speed. With 530bhp available via full hybrid boost, the current crop of Rally1 cars are generation-defining.

While a reduction in transmission tech and aero-generated downforce has trimmed corner speed by a kilometre per hour or two from their predecessors, the outright power and torque of these things still makes them the most spectacular machines to grace the stages.

There’ll be nothing quite like the anticipation which builds when you’re standing in wait around Tartu this week, waiting for world champion Kalle Rovanperä and his colleagues.

On slower gravel rallies, the noise is quite different. There’s the rise and fall of revs, the machine gun chatter of anti-lag and, of course, the clatter of stones on sills as gravel is sprayed through turn after turn.

In Estonia this week, for plenty of folk the noise will consist of four cracks as five gears are pulled, followed by the glorious audio which accompanies a rally car on the rev limiter. The clatter’s nearly non-existent until the anchor’s dropped and velocity is shed in favour of a direction change.

The best bit? Simple, it’s standing safely in a corner and building a picture of just how fast these cars will come - then having your mind blown at how far out you could be.

These are the best of the best. This week, they do things just that bit faster.

TRAILER: Rally Estonia 2023
Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 7:00:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 6:00:00 AM