Tänak upbeat despite Mexico woes
Ott Tänak insists he was impressed by his Toyota Yaris WRC on his gravel debut in the car at Rally Guanajuato Mexico.
Despite contending with overheating issues that required mid-stage juggling between stage and road engine settings, he quickly acclimatised to the Yaris on dirt roads and ended the opening leg in third.
Tänak's charge was halted on Saturday's first stage when turbo failure forced him out for the day. He restarted on Sunday and went fastest on the rally-ending live TV Power Stage to take home five bonus points.
"Of course I’m not happy with the overall result as we were in contention for the win, but we still have a long season ahead of us and the performance side has been good. It was my first time on gravel in the car, we learned a lot and we can see many places where we can improve,” said the Estonian.
"I must say, I am quite happy with the performance already and we know we still have steps to do. It looks good for the future."
Tänak was Toyota's star driver on the opening day when his car, and those of team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi, suffered high engine temperatures.
But while the overheating affected the stage times of Latvala and Lappi, Tänak managed to drive around the problem.
"We all had the same issue, I don't know how the other guys managed it, but I just kept focusing really hard," he told wrc.com.
"It was difficult. We had to select the [engine's] safe mode in the slower parts, but in the faster sections, when we had the airflow, it was okay. There was a lot happening on the stages, but still my rhythm was quite good and we got the best out of it."
"The team will investigate the turbo, I'm sure they'll do everything to ensure it never happens again.”
Mexico debrief: part 2
Reflections from 2018’s opening gravel round
Best of Action Video Rally Guanajuato México 2018
Action Video Rally Guanajuato México 2018
Mexico debrief: part 1
Here's what grabbed our attention at last week's rally