Thu 21 Apr 2022

Tänak bids to turn tables in Croatia

Ott Tänak starts this week’s Croatia Rally hoping to spark his FIA World Rally Championship season into life after a difficult first two rounds.

The Estonian struggled for form on the Zagreb-based asphalt event last season, but knows he needs a strong performance from him and his Hyundai i20 N Rally1 this week.

The 2019 world champion retired from the season-opening Rallye Monte-Carlo with engine damage and then exited on the opening day last time out in Sweden.

He returned to take maximum points from the rally-closing Wolf Power Stage but arrives at the first full asphalt round of the season 41 points adrift of championship leader Kalle Rovanperä.

“The season hasn’t been good so far,” said Tänak, who finished third in Thursday morning’s shakedown. “We know that and we’re working on it – it’s not really even about a title challenge for the moment.

“When we were on Tarmac in Monte, we knew that really we had been in a race to get to the start of that rally. Now things are a little bit different and we’ve been able to work with the car since then.

“The guys have all been working back in the factory and working hard to find the performance. It’s early still, we have only done two rallies so far and now we’re going to be busy with lots of events coming quickly. Testing has been good for Croatia, let’s see what we can do.”

Tänak finished a distant fourth in Croatia last season, having struggled to come to terms with his i20 N World Rally Car on the low-grip surface.

• Full coverage from the Croatia Rally will be available on WRC+ All Live here, including every stage broadcast as it happens as well as key interviews, features and expert analysis from the service park

Video: Croatia Rally shakedown
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