Fri 31 Mar 2023

Tanak turns to Ardennes for Tarmac testing

Ott Tänak will use Saturday’s Rallye des Ardennes to dial himself back into Tarmac driving as he looks to retake the lead in the World Rally Championship at next month’s Croatia Rally.

The Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid star makes his debut on Saturday’s third round of the Belgian Rally Championship, an event which includes 12 stages and 144 competitive kilometres. Those kilometres will give Tänak and the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team vital insight into the development of the car as they head into the season’s first pure asphalt event in Zagreb.

“The important thing is to get the Tarmac feeling back,” said Tänak. “I understand Ardennes is one of the best rallies in Belgium and the roads should be fun – we will try to enjoy ourselves in the car. 

“But the priority is to get back the rhythm and remind ourselves of where we were in Monte-Carlo [when the car was last running in Tarmac trim].”

Tänak’s Croatia preparations will continue with M-Sport’s pre-event test, which runs locally to the stages around the country’s capital.

“Croatia is a very challenging event,” said Tänak, who finished second there last season. “The grip is low and there’s a lot of cutting – the road is changing all the time. It’s a tricky rally.”

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