Tänak: 'a win for my fans'
Ott Tänak was proud to take Rally Estonia victory at the weekend after putting on an exciting show for many of his rally-loving compatriots that aren't able to follow him on the WRC stages.
The 30-year-old, a major sporting celebrity in his homeland, joined Citroën's Craig Breen and Hyundai's Hayden Paddon in using the event as a high-speed warm up to Neste Rally Finland (26-29 July).
Tänak gave his home supporters plenty to celebrate as he guided his Toyota Yaris WRC to a 59.3sec win over Paddon. Breen completed the event in third place.
"We have so many people who are supporting rallying [in Estonia]. But as we go far away from home – to countries like Argentina, Mexico and Spain – a lot of people can't afford to come to these places," Tänak explained to WRC All Live's Becs Williams.
"When we have these three [WRC] cars competing back at home, it's nice to be part of this weekend."
The YPF Rally Argentina winner was pleased with the form he showed on his home gravel stages as his pre-event preparation for Finland enters its final phase.
He said: "It was important to have a good result this weekend because it's all about getting into testing and a high-speed rhythm. Generally, it was important to set some good times and to show good pace so I'm really happy."
Tänak will be aiming to be the first Estonian to win at Rally Finland since his former mentor Markko Märtin partnered the late Michael 'Beef' Park to victory at the event in 2003.
Although he wasn't able to travel to Finland to watch Märtin guide his M-Sport Ford Focus WRC to victory 15 years ago, Tänak is hoping he can write himself into Estonian motorsport's history books when the eighth round of the 2018 series gets underway in 10 days time.
"It's always nice to win a rally in Finland or somewhere else," he said. "Maybe this time we have more fans than normally. We will try to do everything we can."