Thu 29 Jun 2023

Tänak “still very much in the title fight”, Millener believes

M-Sport Ford team principal Richard Millener has pointed to Ott Tänak’s position in the race for this year’s drivers’ championship as evidence of his squad’s continued pace and potential this season.

The Estonian sits one point behind second-placed driver Elfyn Evans in the title fight despite a tough Safari Rally Kenya where he and co-driver Martin Järveoja were forced to carry out two mid-stage wheel changes.

Millener told WRC.com: “There’s no doubt this was a tough Safari, of course it was. You only have to look at the transmission issues going on for some, the loss of rear wings, body parts and bumpers for others and the general rate of attrition.

“Personally, in terms of mechanical reliability, we had a good event. We certainly didn’t have any of the major issues some of the others had.

“Ott had a puncture early on and our strategy from the outset was that we would stop and change. As soon as that happens, it takes the wind out of the sails a little bit. We stuck at it and Ott and Martin are still very much in the fight at the front of the championship. I’m not saying everything’s perfect, but I really don’t think everything is as dark as it’s made to look.

“We know we have work to do and we’re doing it.”

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