Ott Tänak believes he can carry forward the momentum from his rally-leading performance in Portugal as he aims to break his WRC duck in Italy this week.
He was on course for a maiden win at Vodafone Rally de Portugal until he damaged his Ford Fiesta’s suspension against a bank, allowing team-mate Sébastien Ogier to claim his second success of the season.
The Estonian, who is fourth in the points as the series reaches its midpoint at Rally Italia Sardegna (8 - 11 June), is confident heading into the rough and hot Mediterranean island encounter.
“I feel as though we’re getting better all the time and learning more about the car every time we get behind the wheel. We had a great set-up in Portugal, the best we’ve had all year, and another test means that we go to Sardinia in a positive mood,” he said.
Sardinia holds special memories for the M-Sport World Rally Team pilot who secured his first podium there in 2012.
“We’ll be aiming to at least equal that. We’ll need to be fully focused from the start as there are so many things to consider on an event as tricky as this one.
“The stages are very narrow, but also quite fast in places. There is always something to catch you out, so you need to keep that margin.
“We’ll also be experiencing the highest temperatures of the year which could mean more tyre wear and a need to manage the situation. We got an idea of what to expect at the test, and we hope to be in a position to challenge for another strong result,” said Tänak.