Tänak: I felt we were a year behind the others back in Croatia
Estonian rally driver Ott Tänak (M-Sport Ford) was not happy with the situation in Portugal after coming fourth and climbing to second place in the drivers' rankings with 81 points.
The Estonian said that the WRC Rally Portugal held plenty of challenges for the team, and even though the driving was stable, the result was not what he wanted. The ball is in the engineers' court now, Tänak suggested. "Testing will take place in a week, so they have a week to find solutions," he told Finnish publication Rallit.fi.
Tänak finished the WRC Rally de Portugal in fourth place, 2:04.2 behind winner Kalle Rovanperä. Dani Sordo came second and Esapekka Lappi third. The Estonian driver was second in the power stage.
"It is not about the feel I have for the car. Rather, just the car's ability. There are some things than end up affecting us quite a bit."
"We need to try and take the next step. And we will, there is no doubt. Whether that step will go far enough is another matter. Competition is fierce."
Tänak won the Swedish rally this year and came second in Croatia last year. While the way the car feels is not in line with the high places. "I felt back in Croatia that we were a year behind the other teams," the Estonian driver said.
Defending champion Kalle Rovanperä has 17 points over Tänak after five rallies. The rest of the pack is over 10 points behind the Estonian. Does Tänak believe he has a shot at the title?
"If we can find a solution, get the car to where we can compete with the Hyundais and Toyotas, then, of course, we are in with a shot," he said.
The next WRC rally will be held in Sardinia June 1-4. Tänak was victorious there last year.
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Editor: Marcus Turovski