Saturday | 30 Jan 2021

Empty-handed Tänak switches focus to Finland

Ott Tänak will put his second consecutive Rallye Monte-Carlo no-score behind him and look to Finland’s frozen north next month to kick-start his FIA World Rally Championship season.

The Estonian retired from last week’s season-opening French Alps event after suffering two flat tyres on the penultimate morning.

While his departure from the Gap-based event was less dramatic than the crash which ruled him out in 2020, the result was the same: no points.

“Last year, we knew what we did wrong,” said Tänak. “It’s less so this time. The first puncture was a mistake from the recce, it was very straightforward. I felt the puncture. But the second one was a slow one and I didn’t feel anything. It’s tough.”

While the 2019 world champion has driven on numerous snow rallies, the Arctic Rally Finland (26 - 28 February) will be his first time behind the wheel inside the Arctic Circle.

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“I’ve been there as a mechanic before,” said Tänak, “but I never competed. I think it’s going to be an interesting place.

“The roads are fast and we have done a lot of work with the car for the fast rallies. One thing I think we know from this event is that we will have the good winter rally with the good conditions and that’s a good thing.”

The only upside from Tänak’s no-score at Rallye Monte-Carlo is that he could start the Arctic fixture in a better place on the road. If the region comes in for heavy snow following the recce, the championship leaders will be the ones clearing the line and opening the road.

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