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Fri 08 Jul 2022

Tanak We will have to be fast out of the box

Ott Tänak will chase a second home win in three years at next week’s Rally Estonia and the local hero knows the key to success is getting out of the blocks quickly.

Two years ago, the 2019 World Rally Champion hit the top of the timesheets on SS3 in Estonia and stayed there. The gap between him and his then Hyundai team-mate Craig Breen hovered around 10 seconds for the duration of the three days. Fast rallies like the Tartu-based event rarely make for big gaps. And this year is going to be even faster.

That’s why Tänak wants a good get away, starting with Thursday night’s Visit Estonia Tartu test.

It will be a big challenge,” he said, “and we will have to be fast out of the box right from the beginning.

“Rally Estonia is always a great event. For the first time this year we will be going to smoother, faster roads, so I am expecting it to be fun, but we also need to make sure we extract all the performance and speed we can from the car.

“The best part for me is that I have no travel days! It’s also great to have a rally at home because we get to have the amazing fans and those close to us around us. But there is no extra pressure, we just want to score as many points as possible. We will try our best and do everything we can to finish in the top positions.”

Deputy team principal Julien Moncet is keen to put a dismal Safari Rally Kenya outing behind him and focus on Estonia. He added: “Rally Estonia is an event at which we have very good memories. In particular it was the site of Ott and Martin’s [Järveoja] first victory for Hyundai Motorsport, one of four podium finishes we have achieved in Estonia since 2020.

Rally Estonia Memorable Moments

“Our hope is that we can continue this form this year and bounce back from the tough weekend we experienced in Kenya. All season long the Hyundai i20 N Rally1 has shown lots of speed on the gravel, and we expect next weekend to be no different.

“The goal as always is to battle for victory and score as many points for the championship as possible. Even though the gap to the top of the standings is quite large, we will never give up.”

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