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Ott Tanak

Driver profile

Career Summary

Info

Nationality:  EST
Date of Birth: 15.10.1987
Age: 29
First Rally: 2009, Portugal

Season 2016

Classification: WRC
Car No: 0
Car: Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Team: DMACK World Rally Team
Co-driver: Raigo Mõlder
Points: 88
Standing: 8
Rally Wins: 0
Retirements: 0
Podiums: 2

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Here’s what makes him special

• Determined, intense and at times blisteringly quick, he lets his driving do the talking

• Returned to a Fiesta World Rally Car in 2015 after a false start with the M-Sport Ford squad in 2012

• Says a year out of the WRC in 2013 did him good and helped him regain his focus

The story so far

Tänak’s rally career began in his native Estonia, and he won the national championship in 2008 and 2009 driving for a team run by fellow countryman and ex-Ford driver Markko Märtin.

His potential was sufficient to win the European Pirelli Star Driver shootout and he was awarded a six-round programme in the PWRC support category in the 2010 WRC.

Wins in Finland and Britain placed him fourth and in 2011 Tänak was behind the wheel of a Ford Fiesta S2000 in SWRC. Victories in Italy, Germany and France sent him to the final round in Spain with a title chance but an early retirement meant he had to settle for the runners-up spot in the standings. 


But while he missed out on victory in SWRC, his performance earned him a bigger prize in 2012 when he was promoted to lead driver at the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team.

His big break got off to a shaky start with engine failure in Sweden, and this set the tone for a generally disappointing year, most notable for crashes, retirements and missed opportunities. He took his maiden podium on the penultimate round in Sardinia but by then team boss Malcolm Wilson had seen enough and Tänak was dropped at the end of the season.

Without a top line drive in 2013 Tänak found himself back in the Estonian Championship, where he won the Group N class and considered his future.

He made his WRC comeback in 2014 with a split programme, combining WRC 2 in a Ford Fiesta R5 for the Drive DMACK team with three events back in an M-Sport Fiesta RS World Rally Car. Now armed with new levels of maturity and focus to go with his raw speed, he impressed from the off, taking fifth in Sweden, then running as high as second overall in Portugal. He won the WRC 2 class in Poland and rounded off the season with a fine seventh at Wales Rally GB.

Having addressed his earlier shortcomings, Tänak was invited back into the M-Sport fold for 2015, filling the vacancy left by the retiring Mikko Hirvonen.

After a strong fourth in Sweden his season took a scary turn in Mexico when his Fiesta went off the road and was completely submerged in a lake. Footage of his astonishing escape went viral and made ‘the raising of the Ti- Tänak’ one of the most talked about WRC stories of the year. Back on four wheels he made the top five three more times, with the highlight being a third place in Poland.

For 2016 he stays with Fiesta RS power, driving a full season with the all-new DMACK World Rally Team.

Rally Classification Co-driver Rank Points
Rallye Monte-Carlo WRC Raigo Mõlder 7. 6
Rally Sweden WRC Raigo Mõlder 5. 10
Rally Guanajuato México WRC Raigo Mõlder 6. 8
YPF Rally Argentina WRC Raigo Mõlder 15. 0
Vodafone Rally de Portugal WRC Raigo Mõlder 57. 0
Rally Italia Sardegna WRC Raigo Mõlder 5. 10
73rd PZM Rally Poland WRC Raigo Mõlder 2. 18
Neste Rally Finland WRC Raigo Mõlder 56. 0
ADAC Rallye Deutschland WRC Raigo Mõlder 23. 0
Che Guevara Energy Drink Tour de Corse WRC Raigo Mõlder 10. 1
RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de España WRC Raigo Mõlder 6. 8
Dayinsure Wales Rally GB WRC Raigo Mõlder 2. 18+3
Kennards Hire Rally Australia WRC Raigo Mõlder 7. 6

WRC+

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Rallye Monte-Carlo