Toyota’s championship chief Rovanpera and M-Sport rival Tanak headed into the occasion because the overwhelming favourites to problem for the win on Estonia’s quick gravel roads.
Nevertheless, an enforced engine change on Tanak’s Ford Puma attributable to a big failure following Thursday’s shakedown has effectively put the Estonian out of the victory hunt on residence soil earlier than the rally has begun.
WRC sporting rules permit groups to alter engines following shakedown, however in doing so incurs a five-minute penalty.
Rovanpera, who gained final yr’s go to to Estonia, believes Tanak’s problem and the following penalty has denied him a “correct battle” for victory.
“For certain, it might have been a correct battle with Ott and it’s disgrace when you’ve this type of penalty at the beginning,” Rovanpera instructed Autosport.
“What are you able to say? Guidelines are guidelines and there have been different drivers which have had the identical penalty earlier than. I’d say it’s a harsh penalty, however what are you able to do?”
When questioned additional on the harshness of the penalty, he added: “There could possibly be penalty that’s not so harsh, I don’t know.
“However this has been the penalty for a very long time. Others have had it and now Ott has had it not in a great second. For certain, it’s a disgrace for the battle.”
M-Sport has since accomplished an engine change on Tanak’s automobile to permit the 2019 world champion to take the beginning later this night.
Kalle Rovanperä, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT
Picture by: McKlein / Motorsport Images
Tanak has since revealed that he misplaced a cylinder following his one and solely shakedown run, and that the staff had instructed him this morning that it had issues over his engine.
The problem is much more irritating for Tanak and the M-Sport staff given the extra effort undertaken to prepare for the event that noticed the squad contest a nationwide rally in Estonia along with a check day.
“It looks as if the fellows had doubts already yesterday and I used to be notified this morning as effectively that we would have one thing occur and sadly one thing did occur,” Tanak instructed Autosport.
“For certain, the competitors is gone. If this had been at Safari Rally then in all probability sure [we could salvage something].
“However on a quick rally like this with quick and really quick phases we’re speaking about seconds and tenths of seconds, not minutes.”