OTT TÄNAK EXPECTS THIS WEEKEND’S RALLY ITALIA SARDEGNA (7-10 JUNE) TO BE A ‘KEY RALLY’ FOR HIS SEASON AS HE AIMS TO BOUNCE BACK FROM RETIREMENT AT LAST MONTH’S VODAFONE RALLY DE PORTUGAL.
The Toyota driver’s rally ended on Friday’s opening stage after he hit a rock and damaged the cooling system on his Yaris.
His first retirement of the year ended a promising run of form for the Estonian, whose confidence was high after he took his first victory for the Japanese manufacturer at YPF Rally Argentina in April.
Tänak, who currently trails championship leader Thierry Neuville by 47 points, is aiming to return to form on Sardinia’s gravel stages – the scene of his first WRC victory with the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team in 2017.
“Sardinia is a special rally for me as it’s where I got my first win one year ago,” he explained. “Hopefully we can get another top result this time around. I think this will be a key rally for the championship.“Portugal didn’t go as well as we planned, so it will be important to score some strong points.”
Before his Portugal retirement, the 30-year-old was happy with the performance of the Yaris WRC. He was the fastest driver through the Lousada Super Special on Thursday night and he’s hopeful that form will carry over to Sardinia.
“I am happy with how the car has been performing. In Argentina it was fantastic, and it felt good in Portugal as well,” Tänak said. “We are trying to be as prepared as possible, and I know that the team is working really hard. Now we need to translate that speed into a good result before the summer holidays.”