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Tue 07 May 2024

Tänak targets Portugal fightback

Ott Tänak has targeted this week’s Vodafone Rally de Portugal (9 - 12 May) as the start of his fightback in this year’s FIA World Rally Championship.

While the Estonian registered the second-highest points score from the fourth round of the World Rally Championship in Croatia, he feels his title challenge is yet to take hold following a tricky start to the season.

This week will be the Estonian’s 13th start in Portugal, an event he won in his all-conquering 2019 season. It’s a return to that winning form that the Hyundai star is chasing from the first European gravel round of the season.

Tänak said: “[In Croatia] we managed to collect some good points. I’m hoping to have a better feeling on gravel from Portugal and be more competitive, as the target will be to start taking back some points.

“It’s incredible to finish as the second highest-scoring crew [in Croatia]. Our weekend was tough once again. We started from a very bad place, and I gave away some time in the beginning. We recovered a bit on Friday afternoon, and then on Saturday we tried to experiment a bit ahead of today to try and help us maximise our road position, which was also tricky.”

Tänak arrives to Matosinhos fourth in the drivers’ championship standings, six points down on M-Sport’s Adrien Fourmaux and 33 off his frontrunning team-mate Thierry Neuville.