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All four works WRC teams to contest Rally Estonia as Tanak joins up

All four factory World Rally Championship teams will contest next month's Rally Estonia, with Toyota's Ott Tanak having been added to the entry

Tanak's entry on his home country's biggest motorsport event could only be confirmed once Juho Hanninen had safely completed Rally Italy because WRC points leader Tanak will use the Yaris Hanninen drove in Sardinia.

Estonia's most successful ever rally driver joins Elfyn Evans (M-Sport Ford), Esapekka Lappi (Citroen Racing) and Craig Breen and Andreas Mikkelsen (both Hyundai Motorsport) on the entry list for the July 12-14 event, which the WRC teams are tackling in their summer break as a warm-up for Rally Finland.

Tanak has won the event twice before - with Toyota last year and when it was a European Rally Championship round in 2014.

"I'm really happy that we can return to Rally Estonia this year and drive the Toyota Yaris WRC on our home roads again," he said.

"It is nice to see the event getting stronger every year, and this time it looks as though the competition is going to be even tougher, with every WRC team taking part.

"I know from last year that competing on these fast roads is really good preparation for us and the team before Rally Finland.

"But above all, it was a great feeling to win in front of so many of our fans and I hope we can bring them the same enjoyment this time."

Toyota team principal Tommi Makinen was already looking past Estonia to possible benefits for the following WRC round.

"Last year, Ott and Martin [Jarveoja, co-driver] won Rally Estonia and then dominated in Finland a few weeks later, so I'm hoping that it can have a similar benefit this year," said Makinen.

Rally Estonia director Urmo Aava was relieved to see Tanak's name appear on the entry list.

"At this moment it is very hard for me to find the right words," said the former WRC driver.

"For the moments like this have we worked hard with our team through all the years.

"Ott and Martin are coming to the Shell Helix Rally Estonia as the leaders of WRC and I hope the good feeling they will get from here helps them to continue the second half of WRC season with victories.

"And to step forward to their goal, to win the World Rally Championship.

"I believe we will see tens of thousands spectators cheering all the drivers at Rally Estonia. The level of WRC drivers and competition is extremely high this year.

"We appreciate the effort from every team and from our side we do everything possible to give good emotions to drivers, teams and fans through all the weekend."

The WRC teams' Estonia commitment is part of a trend of factory World Rally Cars appearing on national events this season - a practice that Citroen team boss Pierre Budar has criticised as a costly way of getting around testing restrictions.

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