The story so far
Tänak’s career began in his native Estonia and he won the national championship in 2008 and 2009, driving for a team run by fellow countryman and ex-Ford driver Markko Märtin.
He won the European Pirelli Star Driver shootout, earning a PWRC support category programme in the 2010 WRC in which he finished fourth.
In 2011 Tänak was behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta S2000 in SWRC. Victories in Italy, Germany and France sent him to the final round in Spain with a title chance but he had to settle for the runners-up spot.
His performance earned him promotion to the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team for 2012. However, it was a disappointing year and despite a maiden podium at the penultimate round in Sardinia, Tänak was dropped at the end of the season.
He made his comeback in 2014, combining WRC 2 in a Ford Fiesta R5 with three events back in an M-Sport Fiesta RS World Rally Car. Armed with new levels of maturity and focus,
Tänak was invited back into the full-time M-Sport fold for 2015.
His season took a scary turn in Mexico when his Fiesta went off the road and was submerged in a lake. Footage of his astonishing escape went viral and made ‘the raising of the Ti-Tänak’ one of the most talked about WRC stories for many years.
He was dropped for a second time at the end of the season, but stayed with Fiesta RS power to drive in 2016 with the newly-formed DMACK World Rally Team. Only a last-gasp puncture in Poland cruelly denied him a maiden win.
For 2017, Tänak returned to M-Sport’s manufacturer squad and proved a revelation as he secured third in the drivers’ standings, claiming his first victory in Italy and adding another win on Germany’s asphalt.
A move to Toyota Gazoo Racing for 2018 proved a masterstroke as Tänak found his winning edge in the Yaris. Four victories gave him a chance to win the drivers’ title but his challenge faded during the last two months of the season.
There were no such mistakes in 2019 and from early in the campaign Tänak had the aura of a champion in the making. Six wins from 13 rounds sealed the title before he delivered one of the WRC’s biggest shocks in years by leaving Toyota to join arch-rivals Hyundai Motorsport for 2020.
|Date of Birth||15.10.1987|
|Birthplace||Kärla Parish, Estonia|
|First Rally||2009, Rally de Portugal|