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Tanak set for busy refresher month to prepare for WRC 2024

Ott Tanak is expected to test Hyundai’s World Rally Championship challenger before the end of the year as part of a busy month of preparations following his move from M-Sport.

Ott Tänak, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team

Ott Tänak, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team

McKlein / Motorsport Images

Tanak will rejoin the South Korean marque for 2024 after leaving the team with a year remaining on his contract at the end of 2022 to join M-Sport for this season.

The 2019 world champion scored two wins (Sweden and Chile) driving an M-Sport Ford Puma, but has opted to return to Hyundai following a season of misfortune.

Tanak is set to jump aboard the i20 N this month to begin preparations for January’s 2024 curtain raiser in Monte Carlo.

While the Estonian has driven the 2022 specification i20 N, he believes there will be plenty of work to do to be ready for Monte Carlo (25-28 January).

“We will be quite busy, so there will be quite a bit to do in December,” said Tanak. “It is a car I have been in before so I should know it a bit, but I definitely need to refresh myself and also I have some work to do to be ready for next year.

“The expectations won’t be any less and obviously it seems that [team principal] Cyril [Abiteboul] is a strong leader so he doesn’t expect anything less than the win, so we definitely need to deliver.”

Ott Tänak, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team

Photo by: M-Sport

Ott Tänak, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team

Reflecting on his season at M-Sport, Tanak said he expected much more from the 2023 campaign.

“It is always somehow a bit dangerous if you have high expectations, it is easy to have a high fall and obviously that is probably what happened from my side, and in some ways also from the team side, I guess,” Tanak added.

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“We definitely expected to perform much more. I think the beginning of the year was not too bad but then we couldn’t develop and then we started to go backwards. From the mid-season, I guess the emotions were not the best.

“We are definitely disappointed from both sides. There needs to be some positives for me this year, and we have to take them (from the two wins).”

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