Tänak eyes 'maximum' push
Title outsider Ott Tänak wants another maximum points haul at next week’s WRC encounter in Germany to fight his way back into the championship battle.
He claimed a full-house 30 points with a dominant victory in Finland last month and needs a similarly commanding performance at ADAC Rallye Deutschland (16 - 19 August) to keep alive hopes of a maiden drivers’ crown.
“We’ll go to Germany with a high target after our win in Finland. I want to take it event-by-event, try to get the maximum out of each rally and see whether we can get back into the championship fight,” said the Toyota Yaris driver.
Tänak’s second win of the season, allied to off-colour performances from leading duo Thierry Neuville and Sébastien Ogier, allowed the Estonian to narrow the gap in the standings.
He trails leader Neuville by 46 points and Ogier by 25 points, with a maximum 150 available from the final five rounds.
The series reverts to asphalt after four gravel fixtures. Tänak enjoys the difficulties thrown up by unpredictable weather in south-west Germany and three distinct types of special stages, which often make tyre choice and car set-up a gamble.
“I like the challenge of having many different kind of roads. We’ll need to keep an eye on the weather because when I won the rally last year, tyre choice made a big difference,” said Tänak, whose success 12 months ago came in M-Sport’s Ford Fiesta.
“The Yaris WRC has been performing pretty well on asphalt so I hope we’ll have everything we need to fight for the top.”
Tänak finished second on the previous asphalt round in Corsica and Toyota Gazoo Racing team principal Tommi Mäkinen believes the team can carry forward that momentum.
“I believe our pre-event test went very well. Generally, the Yaris WRC has shown good performance on asphalt so far, and we hope to continue that progress on this rally,” he said.
“Using the experience we gained last year, there are things we have been able to improve in certain areas.”
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