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WRC Star Crashes Out Of Home Rally In Spectacular Fashion

Gif: Eedusport / YouTube
Gif: Eedusport / YouTube

Rally Estonia might have been dropped from the FIA World Rally Championship schedule this year, but the country’s biggest star still decided to show up last weekend. Ott Tänak entered the event in the national class with the 2019 World Rally Champion and was the easy favorite to win. However, his rally ended with an acrobatic crash during the second stage. Tänak and his co-driver Martin Järveoja escaped the wreck unharmed.

A spectator captured the moment when the crew’s Hyundai i20 N Rally1 car crashed. Tänak jumped a crest at too skewed of an angle, and the Hyundai landed on the driver-side door, sliding until the car pitched into a roll. As the car somersaulted down the stage, it shed bodywork each time it hit the ground. A wheel came loose as the WRC car tumbled and came to rest in a ditch. Tänak did eventually post on social media that he and Järveoja were OK.

Tänak won the first stage by three seconds as the only driver with a WRC-spec Rally1 car. His Hyundai i20 N has a hybrid turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four engine, putting out 514 horsepower. It’s a monster compared to the 300-hp Rally2 machines that his best-equipped opposition was driving. For the Estonian, the home appearance was largely a test for upcoming WRC gravel rounds in Finland and Latvia. Tänak is currently third in the points standings.

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The WRC is seemingly in limbo. The championship is struggling to garner the support of manufacturers with an event format that isn’t well suited for live television. To compound the problem, rallying’s biggest names only compete part-time because they’re either burnt out or considering retiring. However, rallying’s public road environment helps produce some of motorsport’s most dramatic moments. We’re just thankful everyone was OK this time.

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