Despite winning the Rally Finland in 2022 and decent pace demonstrated at the recent Rally Estonia, M-Sport driver Ott Tänak feels that winning this year's Rally Finland, which will be held this coming weekend, might be too much for him.
Tänak, who was still piloting a Hyundai at the time, somewhat surprisingly won the Rally Finland in 2022, which many still consider his greatest rally victory. "The situation was different last year because it was the first time for these cars and there was much to discover," the Estonian driver told DirtFish.
"I'm quite sure Hyundai have improved on their weaknesses from last year as have Toyota, and both know exactly where they are going this year. I'm quite sure it will be a different story," Tänak remarked.
Tänak demonstrated good pace in Estonia two weeks ago, winning six of the first eight special stages after being handed a 5-minute penalty for an engine swap.
But the driver feels much of it was down to his experience from the Southern Estonian Rally two weeks prior, which gave him an edge. "I would say we benefited from the small rally we did before WRC Rally Estonia where we got into a good rhythm ahead everyone else."
The Estonians' M-Sport stablemate Pierre-Louis Loubet and Toyota drivers Kalle Rovanperä and Elfyn Evans got a similar experience before Rally Finland at last weekend's HYAcenter Ralli 2023.
Rovanperä leads the WRC drivers championship with 170 points, followed by Elfyn Evans on 114 and Thierry Neuville on 112 points. Tänak is fourth overall on 104 points. There are five rallies still to go until the end of the season, counting Finland.
The WRC Rally Finland 2023 will be held August 3-6.
Editor: Marcus Turovski