OTT TÄNAK GAVE HIS PREPARATIONS FOR NESTE RALLY FINLAND (26-29 JULY) A LIFT AT THE WEEKEND, WHEN HE BEAT TWO WRC RIVALS ON HOME GROUND DURING A WARM-UP EVENT IN ESTONIA.
The Toyota Yaris driver joined fellow WRC stars Craig Breen of Citroën and Hyundai’s Hayden Paddon at the national championship rally, which features high-speed gravel stages that resemble those in Finland.
From the first test, Tänak dominated in his WRC-spec Yaris and he was fastest on 11 of the 16 dry and dusty stages run across Saturday and Sunday.
His lead was so comfortable that in the final test he gave away 30sec performing donuts for the crowds, before completing the rally 59.3sec ahead of Paddon in second place.
Breen claimed three stage wins and was Tänak’s closest challenger for much of the rally before the Irishman lost time when he spun his C3 at high-speed in Stage 12.
A subsequent 2m10s time penalty for late arrival at a time control on Sunday meant he finished third, 2m13s behind Paddon, who punctured on the penultimate stage.
As the only drivers equipped with latest-spec World Rally Cars, the trio were comfortably quicker than the rest of the field.
WRC 2 competitor Jari Huttunen rounded off the top five in a Hyundai i20 R5 while 16-year-old Oliver Solberg, the son of 2003 world champion Petter, brought his Peugeot 208 R2 home in 17th.