Thu 25 May 2023

Tänak making progress with M-Sport Ford Puma on gravel

M-Sport Ford star Ott Tänak is gaining confidence and understanding in his gravel-specification Puma Rally1 Hybrid ahead of next week’s Rally Italia Sardegna (1 - 4 June).

The Estonian, who has finished in the top five on four of this year’s WRC rounds so far, sits second in the championship ahead of the Olbia-based event. Tänak said his second gravel rally in the car – this month’s Vodafone Rally of Portugal – helped further his understanding of the M-Sport machine.

“It was a demanding weekend,” Tänak said of his fourth place in Matosinhos. “In Mexico I wasn’t feeling completely confident and it has been hard to figure out what’s been missing, but I would say this weekend has given us a lot more understanding and now I think we have enough information to move forward.”

Second on the road is far from the ideal position for Tänak, but the Italian island holds the best of memories – it was the place where he won his first ever world championship round in one of the British-based team’s Ford Fiesta WRCs in 2017.

M-Sport team principal Richard Millener was encouraged by Tänak’s gravel pace. He added: “I think there are a lot of positives. Ott’s pace at the beginning of the rally was fantastic and he continues to show us what both he and the car can really do.

“We’re still second overall in the drivers’ championship which is something we should be really proud of.”

Latvia
Starts: Thursday, July 18, 2024 at 4:31:00 AM
Italy
Starts: Friday, July 26, 2024 at 8:30:00 AM
Hungary
Starts: Saturday, July 27, 2024 at 9:30:00 AM