Neste Rally Finland winner Ott Tänak believes his success last weekend was down to the support he received from his Finnish-based Toyota Gazoo Racing team.
Tänak became only the second Estonian to win the Jyväskylä event - after Markko Märtin’s victory with Ford in 2003 - and said teamwork had been the key to success.
“I have a lot of support in the team - everyone is pushing really hard,” he explained. “I guess if you work together as one, then these results are achievable and that is what happened this weekend with a very special home win for the team.”
“We were preparing as hard as we could. We had a big job [to do] and it looks like everything was perfect. The preparation has been nice and now we have the result we’ve been looking for.”
Tänak’s 32.7sec victory came after a back-and-forth battle with eventual runner-up Mads Østberg. On Friday’s opening leg, the pair swapped the lead four times when the Yaris driver had to contend with a start position of third on the road.
“I think Friday was the hardest day, we had to work pretty hard cleaning the road and at the same time I had to set some good times for the start position for the second day,” he told WRC.com.
“From Saturday morning things began to improve. We were building the gap quite quickly and, in the afternoon, we were just managing the lead - it was the same on Sunday.”
Securing 25 points for victory, and five bonus points on the Live TV Power Stage, has moved Tänak to within 46 points of championship leader Thierry Neuville. But the 30-year-old, who also won April’s YPF Rally Argentina, doubted he was back in the title fight.
“It doesn’t really reignite our championship challenge, we need many more wins. We have had many issues this year and we are still quite far off, but let’s say it is not bad to go like this. We need to take it rally-by-rally and take maximum points again,” he said.
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