Tanak: Toyota "my best option" to become WRC champion

Ott Tanak believes moving from M-Sport Ford to Toyota for the 2018 World Rally Championship was his "best option" to become champion.

Driving alongside Sebastien Ogier at M-Sport, Tanak finished third in the drivers’ championship last year, taking his maiden rally victory in Sardinia and picking up a second win two rounds later in Germany.

He will join Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi at Toyota this year, in its second season back in the WRC.

The Japanese manufacturer began its return to the championship with a podium in Monte and a shock win in Sweden, both of which came courtesy of Latvala.

“It was quite easy to see for everyone that the team was doing a really good job last year,” Tanak said on stage at Autosport International during the 2018 WRC launch.

“For its first season, it was very competitive, there is a lot of potential there in the team.

“I think that was kind of the key, to make sure I am part of this team in the coming years, and I expect to have my best options here to fight for the title.”

Toyota started 2017 strongly but its performance tailed off following Lappi’s debut win in Finland, its last podium finish of the season - with Latvala crashing out of second place on the power stage in the season finale in Australia.

“We need to win rallies to fight for the championship or to win the title,” Tanak added.

“I just need to get used to the team now, so far the preparation has been going really strongly. Already, I feel very welcome in the team and the people in the team are supporting me really well.

“Things are going in a good way so soon in a few weeks [In Monte}, we will see how we are compared to the clock.”

Joshua Suttill

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About this article
Series WRC
Drivers Ott Tanak
Teams Toyota Racing
Article type Breaking news