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Mon 13 May 2024

Tänak makes strides with i20 N in Portugal

Ott Tänak believes he has turned a corner with the Hyundai i20 N Rally1, with the Estonian admitting he felt he could have gone for the win at last week’s Vodafone Rally de Portugal.

Tänak finished the event second to former team-mate Sébastien Ogier, but felt that, without a slow puncture on Saturday morning, he could have bridged the 7.9-second gap which split the top two.

Consolation in Matosinhos came with an 11-point Sunday for Tänak and his elevation from fourth to third place in the championship.

Talking about his event, Tänak said: “The outcome is not too bad, it was just very unfortunate to pick up the slow puncture, but otherwise I would say very positive.

“Without the puncture, I think I could have gone for the win. On Friday I was struggling the most, but after I was slowly getting used to the car and that let me find a good rhythm. On Saturday the stages were very different, and overnight I was able to understand what I needed to do differently from Friday to make the most of the car.”

Having struggled to get comfortable with the i20 N since his return to the Korean marque at the beginning of the season, Tänak says he can now see a way forward.

“We are not far away,” he added, “from being in a place where I feel confident controlling the car, but it’s still a bit difficult to make the car match my driving style.