Toyota’s Ott Tänak made the most of his first gravel kilometres in a Yaris World Rally Car ahead of his dirt road debut with the Japanese manufacturer in Mexico this week.
The Estonian tested in Spain in preparation for Rally Guanajuato Mexico (8 - 11) and rang the changes with the Yaris to gain as much knowledge as possible.
“I have many new things to learn, but we had two days of testing in Spain which were very useful. We tried as many different things as possible, just to understand how the car reacted,” he explained.
“The early feeling with the car on gravel is quite good, there are still some things to get used to and some things that we can develop.”
Tänak has already proved he is a quick learner in his first season with Toyota Gazoo Racing. He finished second in the season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo and led in Sweden before sliding down the order as he ploughed a clean line through fresh snow.
Similar problems hamper the early starters in Mexico who must sweep thick gravel to leave a faster line for those behind. Tänak is happy he won’t endure the worst of the conditions.
“We will have a better road position, starting fifth. The road sweeping has a big effect there, so this should help us. I have quite a bit of experience in Mexico now, so I feel comfortable going there and I think we have a good chance to fight for the top positions,” he added.