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Tuesday, February 20, 2024

“Excellent bundle” required to problem for WRC Finland win

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The M-Sport-Ford driver heads to the WRC’s well-known quick gravel rally with the envious file of three wins in his final 4 outings in Finland, together with a heroic drive to defeat home hero Kalle Rovanpera final yr.    

Tanak is in want of a robust end result to spice up his WRC title aspirations after a five-minute engine change penalty robbed the Estonian of an opportunity to assert a robust factors haul at his residence spherical two weeks in the past.  

Nonetheless, the 2019 world champion is anticipating to face a troublesome ask to repeat his Rally Finland type of 12 months in the past when he took an underperforming Hyundai to victory. Now driving for M-Sport, Tanak says the Ford squad is at the moment behind its Toyota and Hyundai rivals. 

“In the meanwhile, the velocity deficit [to Toyota and Hyundai] is sort of large and clearly final yr the case was totally different,” Tanak advised Autosport. 

“In Finland, you really want an ideal bundle to be on the tempo there.

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“Let’s see, we will certainly attempt however sadly we don’t have rather more efficiency so as to add to what we’ve in the meanwhile, however we’re nonetheless going to go all out from our facet and see how far we are able to get.”

Ott Tänak, M-Sport Ford World Rally Crew

Picture by: M-Sport

Whereas Toyota used the final homologation window to introduce an engine upgrade in Estonia, M-Sport has elected in opposition to utilizing one in every of its homologation jokers to enhance the efficiency of its Ford Puma.

As an alternative, the workforce has been engaged on growing exterior of homologation jokers, specializing in honing set-ups and dampers in check classes and nationwide rallies.

Crew principal Richard Millener insists the squad is pushing its “hardest” to enhance its bundle.

“We’ve got simply received to maintain giving [Ott] the whole lot we are able to – I can assure the workforce is attempting their hardest and that’s all we are able to do,” Millener advised Autosport. 

“They’re a dedicated bunch of individuals and they’re as annoyed as Ott is concerning the outcomes we’re getting. All of us really feel we deserve higher however we nonetheless have to maintain going.   

“We aren’t going to achieve something unimaginable however I feel the jokers and improvement upgrades are a bit deceptive as nicely. 

“There have been tales of Toyota coming to Estonia with upgrades however loads of the event has been frozen for price functions and to maintain the competitors shut. 

“Kalle received in Estonia however the different Toyotas weren’t storming away into the space, so I feel no matter anyone does I don’t suppose it’ll be floor breaking, will probably be small margins. 

“We’re engaged on that and loads of outcomes are primarily based on efficiency and feeling and confidence of the drivers.”

Rally Finland begins on Thursday night with the primary of twenty-two scheduled phases.

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