Friday | 19 Jan 2018

Tänak's title goal with Toyota

Having settled into his new surrounds at Toyota Gazoo Racing, Ott Tänak is optimistic the team's Yaris WRC will be strong enough to win the World Rally Championship in 2018.

The Estonian, a winner of two WRC events in 2017, is keen to build on his rally-winning form in 2018 and saw a switch away from the M-Sport World Rally Team as his best hope of becoming a regular podium finisher.

"I could see how much potential there is and I wanted to make sure I was part of this team in the coming years. Our target is the same: to win the championship."

On the eve of next week's Rallye Monte-Carlo (25-28 January), Tänak is feeling positive about his chances on the ice-covered asphalt stages that snake through the mountains above the French Principality.

"There is a lot of excitement ahead of my first rally for Toyota. I am just getting used to the team but already I feel very welcome and the preparation has been going really well," he said.

"The team did a really good job last year; even though it was their first season they were already very competitive.

Tänak will drive alongside team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi in the Toyota Gazoo Racing squad in 2018. The Japanese manufacturer's second year programme in the modern-day WRC will be masterminded by team principal, Tommi Mäkinen – himself a four-time WRC champion and four-time Rallye Monte-Carlo winner.

Mäkinen reckons his team can present a stronger challenge during the course of the 2018 season and, therefore, build on the two victories it scored with the all-new Yaris WRC at Rally Sweden and Rally Finland.

The Finn said: "In the coming season, I believe that we can be a lot more consistent, which is really what we need in order to fight for the championship titles. That is our aim after our learning season last year. The break since Rally Australia finished has not been very long but we have been very busy trying to make our car even better.

"Rallye Monte-Carlo is always a tough event to start the season with. Although I won it four times during my career as a driver, I didn’t prepare for it very well back then: I would not even think about rallying, and just go skiing instead! Our three drivers have been doing much better preparation, with a lot of testing, and we hope for a good result next week."


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