Tanak "pushing" Hyundai for improvements in Arctic Rally win

Ott Tanak has revealed he had to push his engineers to deliver a winning car for the Arctic Rally in Finland

Tanak "pushing" Hyundai for improvements in Arctic Rally win

Tanak bounced back from his Rallye Monte-Carlo misdemeanours by taking a comprehensive victory around Rovaniemi.

Despite easing off slightly in the closing stages, the Hyundai i20 Coupe driver finished with a 17.5s cushion over Toyota's Kalle Rovanpera.

Team boss Andrea Adamo spoke publicly before the second round of the World Rally Championship about the need to win, with this leading to an under pressure Tanak to lean more heavily on his mechanics.

"This victory is very important and allows us to take away good points for the championship," said Tanak, who moves up to fifth in the drivers' standings.

"We came to Finland - the home country of one of our closest rivals - so the pressure was on for sure.

"We knew it would be complicated to take on the fight but, in the end, we did a very good weekend.

"The pre-event test was held in very different conditions, so we didn't really know what to expect.

"I was pushing the engineers quite a lot, but their hard work really paid off. We tried some new things in shakedown, and it all worked out nicely.

"New rallies like this one always makes things more open. When we came here, we really didn't know what to expect and we didn't know what was going to happen, who was going to be fastest, if the set-up works and how to manage the tyres," he added.

"If you come to such a new event, you never really know, you have to learn while you are driving and react to some things and probably at the beginning of the rally you can make the biggest difference otherwise during the event the other drivers start to learn and the gap gets smaller and smaller.

"For myself, I knew from the beginning I had to build some margin and then after that I was able to manage [the gap]."

Tanak has been unable to rediscover the kind of form that led to him being crowned the WRC champion with Toyota two back in 2019, but the Estonian is sure his second triumph in Hyundai colours can serve as a springboard in 2021

"You want to win every event but things have not been so smooth and generally so straightforward," he said. "But this year we have a longer season ahead, so we can get a much more consistent feeling."

shares
comments
WRC Arctic Rally: Tanak seals victory, Rovanpera takes championship lead

Previous article

WRC Arctic Rally: Tanak seals victory, Rovanpera takes championship lead

Next article

Rovanpera: Toyota need to be "clever" with WRC preparations

Rovanpera: Toyota need to be "clever" with WRC preparations
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Drivers Ott Tanak
Author Jason Craig
Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished Plus

Why the casualty of rallying's evolution should still be cherished

The WRC's support categories are in a process of streamlining that will spell the end of a formalised 2WD world championship-level category. While its relevance to the top level has been questioned for some time, that doesn't mean it should be swept quietly under the carpet

WRC
Apr 5, 2021
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Plus

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Plus

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic Plus

What to expect from the WRC's venture to the Arctic

This week's Arctic Rally Finland will bring the World Rally Championship into new territory. And, almost without exception, the service park can't wait for the subzero challenge to commence

WRC
Feb 25, 2021
How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell Plus

How Ogier achieved a fitting Monte Carlo farewell

Against pandemic-shaped odds, the World Rally Championship season opener went ahead in Monte Carlo last weekend as a familiar face again took top spot. But for an emotional Sebastien Ogier, his record-breaking eighth win meant more than most

WRC
Jan 25, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Plus

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Plus

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Plus

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

OPINION: With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021