The 2019 world champion heads to his dwelling spherical off the again of a second retirement from six rounds at Safari Rally Kenya final month. Tanak suffered a damaged gear lever and a prop shaft failure, earlier than an influence steering concern in the end ended his rally prematurely.
Regardless of a sequence of reliability points this yr, the Estonian sits third within the championship standings, helped by a drought-breaking victory in Sardinia final month and a second place end on tarmac in Croatia in April.
Tanak can be regarded among the many favourites for victory having gained the occasion 4 instances beforehand, his final arriving in 2020 when the rally joined the WRC schedule for the primary time.
Nonetheless, the 34-year-old led final yr’s version early on just for a puncture to price him half a minute on Friday, earlier than retiring when a second puncture struck, leaving him with no spare wheel to proceed.
“Rally Estonia is all the time an important occasion. For the primary time this yr we can be going to smoother, sooner roads, so I’m anticipating it to be enjoyable, however we additionally want to ensure we extract all of the efficiency and pace we are able to from the automobile,” mentioned Tanak.
“Will probably be an enormous problem and we must be quick out of the field proper from the start.
“It’s additionally nice to have a rally at dwelling as a result of we get to have the wonderful followers and people near us round us. However there is no such thing as a further stress, we simply wish to rating as many factors as potential.
“We are going to attempt our greatest and do every part we are able to to complete within the prime positions.”
Ott Tanak, Martin Jarveoja, Hyundai World Rally Crew Hyundai i20 N Rally1
Photograph by: Dufour Fabien / Hyundai Motorsport
Tanak’s team-mate Oliver Solberg is one other driver feeling assured forward of Estonia, admitting that this occasion will provide him a sensible probability to combat for a podium. The Swede claimed the WRC3 class honours on the 2020 version.
“Rally Estonia is the occasion I’ve been trying ahead to most all yr,” mentioned Solberg.
“It’s one I’ve completed many instances earlier than and I’ve been capable of win there twice. Hopefully I will combat for the rostrum, that’s my private objective.
“It’s a very difficult occasion with a variety of jumps. It’s additionally very quick and it’s the first time I’ve competed there in these WRC vehicles, so will probably be a special problem. I’ve have pushed in Estonia a lot it feels nearly like my second nation, so I really feel very comfy on the roads.”
Amid its battle to enhance reliability, Hyundai has proven flashes of pace on gravel with the staff overtly admitting that it has focussed the event of its automobile for gravel rallies.
Deputy staff director Julien Moncet referred to as for a response from his staff after a disappointing outing in Kenya, the place all three of its i20 Ns suffered issues.
Heading into Estonia, Moncet says his squad is refusing to surrender regardless of sitting 62 factors adrift of rivals Toyota.
“All season lengthy the Hyundai i20 N Rally1 has proven plenty of pace on the gravel, and we anticipate subsequent weekend to be no completely different,” mentioned Moncet.
“The objective as all the time is to battle for victory and rating as many factors for the championship as potential. Despite the fact that the hole to the highest of the standings is kind of massive, we’ll by no means surrender.”
Rally Estonia begins with a brilliant particular stage on Thursday night.