Malcolm Wilson has tipped Ott Tänak for more WRC rally wins after the Estonian collected his maiden victory at Rally Italia Sardegna last weekend.
Accompanied by co-driver Martin Järveoja, Tänak sealed a landmark win on the same event where he claimed his first podium in 2012. A maximum 25-point haul promoted him to third place in the drivers’ championship, marking him out as a title contender at the season’s mid-point.
The result also helped M-Sport extend its lead in the manufacturers’ standings and continue an unbroken record of podium finishes at every event so far this year.
Team principal Malcolm Wilson said: “This is just the very beginning for Ott and Martin. There’s nothing quite like that first win and they delivered the perfect strategy with a very impressive drive this weekend. They should be extremely proud of their performance, and I’m sure this victory will be the first of many."
M-Sport's relationship with Tänak stretches back to 2011 and has endured difficult times, especially when the Estonian was dropped by the squad after an accident-prone 2012 campaign.
“As you can imagine, there was a lot of emotion from the team when Ott crossed the finish line. When you’ve worked with someone as long as a lot of our guys have worked with Ott – and been with him through all of the ups and downs – I can tell you that this one really does mean a lot," Wilson said.
Wilson believes Tänak has made big development steps in the last two seasons, and that the arrival at M-Sport of Sébastien Ogier has also had a positive effect.
"We all know that Ott had the pace, the way he has evolved in the past eighteen months, it was a big step last year. I really believe bringing Sébastien into the team made everybody, the drivers, co-drivers and the team as well, look at everything. This is the success that we have seen from all our guys," he said.