Formula 1
28 Mar
Event finished
R
Emilia Romagna GP
18 Apr
FP1 in
3 days
Formula E
24 Apr
Next event in
11 days
MotoGP
04 Apr
Event finished
R
Portugal GP
18 Apr
FP1 in
3 days
NASCAR Cup
R
Richmond
18 Apr
Next event in
5 days
IndyCar
R
Birmingham
16 Apr
Next event in
3 days
23 Apr
Next event in
10 days
WEC
13 Jun
Race in
61 days
Supercars
20 Mar
Event finished
17 Apr
Next event in
4 days

Tanak knew he "had to win" home WRC round

Rally Estonia winner Ott Tanak says the first World Rally Championship event in his home country was "one that I had to win".

Tanak knew he "had to win" home WRC round

The reigning WRC champion took victory on home soil last weekend, also marking his first win for the Hyundai team since joining at the start of 2020.

His first win since Wales Rally GB last year also narrowed the gap to championship leader Sebastien Ogier, with the difference now standing at just 13 points.

It was not all plain sailing for Tanak, however, as he endured a heart-in-mouth moment on the penultimate stage when his car reacted badly through a rutted section of 'Kaagvere'.

The Hyundai driver also picked up a puncture on Saturday morning's first test - the longest of the rally - but he recovered to live up to his pre-event favourite billing to lead home fellow Hyundai driver Craig Breen by 22.2 seconds.

"There was a lot of pressure this weekend, to be honest, and moments of stress which are now relief," said Tanak, who bagged an extra three points from Sunday's Power Stage.

"The first World Rally event in Estonia was one that I had to win, while also knowing it would be my first with Hyundai Motorsport. It was extremely important to bring it home.

"I couldn't afford any mistakes, taking no risks but also performing with the required pace to win. Bringing all of that together was a real challenge."

Tanak paid tribute to his team who continued to hone the i20 Coupe WRC even as the championship was placed on hold because of COVID-19 pandemic in an effort to narrow the speed differential to the Toyota Yaris on gravel.

The i20 has traditionally struggled on high-speed tests but a series of aerodynamic updates to the car came into their own in Estonia as it chalked up six scratch times over 17 stages.

The same car previously showed its potential on the loose by carrying Tanak to wins at both the Viru and Louna-Eesti rallies.

"We had to use this chance to catch back points for the championship and thankfully we were able to use it well," he said. "My thanks to the whole team, who have all been working very hard during the past months.

"It has been a truly great job and we must keep on pushing because we have shown what we can achieve."

Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC

Photo by: McKlein / Motorsport Images

shares
comments
Estonia WRC: Tanak revitalises title bid with home win

Previous article

Estonia WRC: Tanak revitalises title bid with home win

Next article

Ogier explains failure to challenge Hyundai in Estonia

Ogier explains failure to challenge Hyundai in Estonia
Load comments

About this article

Series WRC
Event Rally Estonia
Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads Prime

Why WRC's hybrid path could leave it at a crossroads

With all three major manufacturers committing to the World Rally Championship’s hybrid era from 2022, the future of the series is assured for now, but it could lead to trickier twists and turns further down the road

WRC
Apr 1, 2021
How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally Prime

How Tanak froze out the competition at the Arctic Rally

Ott Tanak made up for a disastrous Monte Carlo Rally by leading all the way on the snow-kissed stages of the Arctic Rally Finland and in the process hit back at an event Toyota had been expected to dominate…

WRC
Mar 1, 2021
What to look out for in the 2021 WRC Prime

What to look out for in the 2021 WRC

As the 2021 World Rally Championship prepares to launch amid tight COVID-19 restrictions in Monte Carlo, here are the eight things unrelated to the pandemic that you should keep an eye on this year

WRC
Jan 21, 2021
Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021 Prime

Evans on the talking points of WRC 2021

He came close to the title last year, and now Toyota's Elfyn Evans gives his verdict on what to expect from 2021 as the World Rally Championship prepares to reconvene for the Monte Carlo season opener.

WRC
Jan 20, 2021
Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call Prime

Why Britain's continued WRC absence is a wake-up call

With Rally GB dropping off the World Rally Championship calendar for the second year in a row, one of Britain's best-attended sporting events faces an uncertain future. It's an unfortunate situation that points to troubling times ahead

WRC
Jan 12, 2021
The Top 10 WRC drivers of 2020 Prime

The Top 10 WRC drivers of 2020

A drastically-shortened 2020 season gave the World Rally Championship protagonists precious little stage mileage to strut their stuff, but as ever the cream rose to the top across the seven events. We rank the year's best performers

WRC
Jan 4, 2021
The twists and turns of a turbulent 2020 WRC season Prime

The twists and turns of a turbulent 2020 WRC season

The 2020 World Rally Championship bestrode all 12 months of the Gregorian calendar, and in terms of the competition it was a cracker. Moreover, it was an inspiration in dark days for the world and our industry.

WRC
Jan 1, 2021
The early setbacks that shaped the WRC's greatest driver Loeb Prime

The early setbacks that shaped the WRC's greatest driver Loeb

A series of close calls in his formative years threatened to leave rallying's top echelon tantalisingly out of reach for the man who would go on to claim nine WRC titles. In an exclusive interview, Sebastien Loeb recalls the key steps on his road to dominance.

WRC
Dec 11, 2020