Ott Tänak says he is looking forward to the return of WRC Rally New Zealand next weekend, after a ten-year absence. The Estonian hopes to close the gap on championship leader Kalle Rovanperä (Toyota), with three races remaining in the 2022 WRC calendar.
Tänak said: "I raced in New Zealand 1o years ago and I have fond memories of that, so I'm looking forward to going back there.
The circuit, close to Auckland, is essentially unchanged on the last time the event was held, in 2012.
"I've been watching videos to refresh my memory and the roads look great, they have good curves and feel like they were made for rallying," Tänak continued, via a Hyundai press release.
Since it's on the other side of the globe, we haven't been able to test on similar roads, which makes it difficult to get the right setup," he added.
"We will just have to do our best and learn as much as possible from the test stage, and then adapt during the race itself. Hopefully the car works 100 percent, and we can get a good result."
Tänak, the 2019 WRC champion, has 154 points, 53 points behind Rovanperä, meaning he is in with a mathematical chance of a second title ahead of New Zealand.
He has also won three races this season, two of them back-to-back victories in Finland and Belgium.
Race weekend starts Thursday, September 29 with the test stage, held around midnight Estonian time, with the first race stage proper starting at 9.08 a.m. Estonian time on the Thursday.
Two more races remain in the calendar afterwards, in Catalunya, and in Japan.
Editor: Andrew Whyte