Friday | 29 May 2015

New Fiesta sets Tänak’s pulse racing

Ott Tänak believes there is more pace to come from both him and the new Ford Fiesta RS following its debut at Vodafone Rally de Portugal last weekend.

The Estonian finished fifth after a troublefree run over rough gravel roads, boosting his confidence after earning the wrath of M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson when he ripped a wheel off the older version in Argentina last month.

“There is definitely more speed to come from me, there is no doubt,” Tänak told “Also we can see many areas where we can improve the car so we just have to keep pushing and working hard.”

Although the car looked virtually identical from the outside, 80 per cent was new under its skin and Tänak settled into it with ease.

“We had a really comfortable feeling in the car and I need to thank the guys in the workshop and the engineers. Also big thanks to the test team because we’ve been working hard for the last couple of months to get it like it is now, and I really enjoyed driving here,” he added.

Ott Tänak - more to come

Team-mate Elfyn Evans was similarly enthusiastic despite a ‘nightmare’ weekend in which he retired twice and spent Sunday opening the roads.

However, the Welshman was relieved to have saved his car after a fire on Saturday when fluid leaking from a damaged brake pipe ignited after he clipped a rock and broke the suspension.

“My priority was to get the car to a safe place because we were in the middle of the road. We knew we had broken something too badly to continue unless I could fix it, so when I got to a safe place my initial reaction was to try to do that,” Evans said.

“I didn’t know it was on fire until Dan (co-driver Barritt) shouted. I was already in the boot so we had a change of plan and put it out! We were fortunate because the fire was still going when the extinguisher ran out but we threw sand on it which worked a treat.”

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