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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Tanak not removed from “being within the struggle” after Portugal WRC victory problem

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The 2019 world champion ignited his season final weekend by ending a 2024 podium drought after dropping out in an intense victory battle with Toyota’s Sebastien Ogier.

Previous to Portugal, Tanak had struggled for type since rejoining Hyundai this yr, headlined by errors within the season opener in Monte Carlo and in Sweden, adopted by an unlucky crash in Kenya.

Discovering the candy spot within the i20 N was a problem in Croatia and once more in Portugal, though Tanak was capable of make progress and drive across the issues final weekend to problem Ogier.

Tanak briefly led the rally on Saturday earlier than a gradual puncture on stage 13 handed the benefit again to the Frenchman, which held to the end by a margin of seven.9s.

Whereas Tanak admits he’s not feeling 100% driving the Hyundai, he’s making progress.

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“I’d say [we could have won without the puncture]. For those who take 13 or 15 seconds off [the time] then we have been going to be there,” Tanak advised Autosport.

“Clearly, Seb was pushing all over, so I’d say he positively didn’t decelerate due to it.

Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, Hyundai World Rally Staff Hyundai i20 N Rally1

Photograph by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

“Undoubtedly the end result just isn’t too unhealthy it’s simply very unlucky this one stage with the tyre, the gradual puncture, in any other case I’d say it was fairly Positive. On Friday we have been struggling however I used to be slowly getting used to the automotive and within the Energy Stage on Sunday I went for a push, nevertheless it wasn’t actually working anymore, and I had too many errors.

“So long as I may preserve a bit margin, I used to be capable of handle and particularly with the second loop when the roads have been a bit rougher and after I may lean within the ruts, I used to be fairly okay.

“Let’s say, we aren’t in a spot with the automotive the place I’ve the velocity of the others, however no less than we aren’t distant, and if we preserve pushing, we ought to be within the struggle.”

Though Tanak missed out on victory, he scored 26 factors, some extent greater than rally winner Ogier because of the championship’s new factors construction. The factors haul moved Tanak into third within the championship, 31 factors behind chief and Hyundai team-mate Thierry Neuville.

When requested if this was a lift to the championship, he added: “Let’s see. Like in Croatia, everyone has nonetheless scored the identical factors. You are able to do no matter you need nevertheless it [this point system] is like being in Kindergarten, and there’s a thumbs up for everybody and a thanks for coming.”

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