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.

Listen to this article

Tanak bounced back from his Monte Carlo Rally 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

Related video

Arctic WRC: Tanak beats record-breaker Rovanpera
Previous article

Arctic WRC: Tanak beats record-breaker Rovanpera

Next article

Neuville confident co-driver language issues can be solved

Neuville confident co-driver language issues can be solved
How Toyota transformed an F1 hopeful into a factory WRC driver Prime

How Toyota transformed an F1 hopeful into a factory WRC driver

Having originally started out in karting and single-seaters to follow his dream of making it to Formula 1, Takamoto Katsuta's career instead changed course into the world of rallying. A breakthrough 2022 WRC season has lifted Katsuta into Toyota's factory line-up - but it's been a long road to the top level

WRC
Dec 7, 2022
Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2022 Prime

Ranking the top 10 WRC drivers of 2022

The World Rally Championship welcomed in a new hybrid era in 2022, presenting an unknown challenge to the planet's top rally aces. New records were broken, as Toyota's leading charge became the youngest-ever title-winner, while familiar returning faces mixed it up with the new generation. Motorsport.com picks out the 10 best performers from the year

WRC
Dec 5, 2022
The key steps on Rovanpera's romp to a history-making WRC title Prime

The key steps on Rovanpera's romp to a history-making WRC title

With only cameo roles played by legendary Sebastiens Ogier and Loeb, Kalle Rovanpera ushered in the new hybrid era for the World Rally Championship by becoming its youngest champion. Here's how Toyota's Flying Finn crushed the competition, led by Hyundai's departing star Ott Tanak.

WRC
Dec 1, 2022
How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book Prime

How trailblazer Kalle Rovanpera has ripped up the WRC record book

At the tender age of 22, Kalle Rovanpera is redefining what’s possible to achieve in rallying and inspiring a new legion of fans as a result. The newly-crowned World Rally Championship title-winner and his peers reflect on his ability and the start of his success in the top tier.

WRC
Nov 26, 2022
How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party Prime

How Hyundai and Neuville gatecrashed Toyota's homecoming party

Thierry Neuville signed off the 2022 World Rally Championship season with his second win of the season in Japan after Toyota rival Elfyn Evans suffered a late puncture. With Sebastien Ogier and Kalle Rovanpera also delayed by punctures and incidents, it opened the door for Neuville and Ott Tanak to record Hyundai's second 1-2 of the season in Toyota's own backyard

WRC
Nov 14, 2022
The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer Prime

The message a WRC stalwart sent which its new king couldn’t answer

Sebastien Ogier might be the outgoing World Rally champion, but it didn’t stop him reminding everyone of the skills that made him an eight-time world champion. As victory at Rally Spain led Toyota’s charge to a titles clean sweep, it did pose a question to newly-crowned champion Kalle Rovanpera which he could not answer

WRC
Oct 24, 2022
Motorsport.com gets to grips as a WRC co-driver Prime

Motorsport.com gets to grips as a WRC co-driver

The majority of headlines may focus on the exploits of drivers in the World Rally Championship, but the challenges facing their co-drivers is no less demanding. We got in the passenger seat with Toyota Gazoo Racing to find out just what it takes to succeed

WRC
Oct 6, 2022
How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge Prime

How Rally New Zealand encapsulated record-breaking Rovanpera’s WRC title charge

Kalle Rovanpera’s coronation as the new World Rally Championship king had been a long time coming, only to be postponed by hiccups in Belgium and Greece. But at Rally New Zealand the “Full Send” Finn demonstrated exactly how he's been able to rewrite the rallying record book as he stormed to victory to become the youngest ever world champion

WRC
Oct 3, 2022