Fri 14 Jun 2024

Tänak: We’re in the game

Ott Tänak heaped sympathy on rival Sébastien Ogier after the former’s last-gasp victory in Sardinia but was all smiles looking at the bigger picture.

The Estonian trailed his the eight-time world champion by 6.6sec ahead of the Wolf Power Stage on Sunday at Rally Italia Sardegna, but an issue on the front-right of the car for the Toyota GAZOO racing star within the iconic Sassari – Argentiera stage meant Tänak secured the spoils in Sardinia (Full results).   


“I’m feeling so many emotions right now,” opined a jubilant Tänak after his win had been confirmed.   


“I’m very sorry for Séb to lose a win like this, it is cruel. I have been in exactly the same position, having a ‘safe’ victory taken away from me a couple of years ago.”  


The result sees Tänak leapfrog Elfyn Evans in the championship standings to second place, as Hyundai now hold a 1-2 in the championship with Neuville in first, whilst also moving further clear of Toyota in the Manufacturers’ Championship.  


Tänak spoke with anticipation of the upcoming events, following a huge result in the Mediterranean, a rally which has served Hyundai well in recent years.  


“It’s been a tough weekend but it is great to finish with such a strong result. Let’s see what the next rallies will bring; we’re moving into the second half of the season and we’re definitely in the game.

In keeping true to his Estonian roots, the Hyundai star tends to thrive on fast gravel surfaces, such as those which lay ahead on Orlen Rajd Polski, Tet RallyLiepāja and Secto Rally Finland.  


But these could prove a taller order than usual for the championship hopeful, who, despite the win in Sardinia, has consistently found himself searching for the feeling in his Hyundai i20 N Rally1 this term.  

“Now we have some fast rallies which I normally look forward to; I was supposed to enjoy yesterday afternoon as well but it was just not going to plan.  

“Hopefully we can find a good feeling in the car in our next events.”
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