Hyundai’s full WRC potential will be on display at Rally Croatia
Tanak only earned his second World Rally Championship victory as a Hyundai driver at Arctic Rally Finland in February, where he beat Kalle Rovanpera’s Toyota Yaris by 17.5 seconds.
The result propelled him to fifth place in the standings and was in stark contrast to the opening round of Rally Monte-Carlo where he retired after suffering two punctures on the penultimate morning.
Despite returning to serve at Gap, Tanak was hit with a suspended rally ban for checking three fully inflated tires – an act that violated regulations.
In his post-Arctic comments, the 2019 champion revealed he decided to apply extra pressure to his engineers in the hopes they would find a winning car for the only snow encounter in the series.
Podium: Hyundai President Scott Noh, Ott TÃ¤nak, Martin JÃ¤rveoja, Hyundai Motorsport Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC
Photo by: Fabien Dufour / Hyundai Motorsport
However, the Estonian has now told Autosport that there will be a noticeable improvement in the performance of the i20 WRC in Croatia – and he is sure that will continue until the end of the campaign.
âA winter rally like Arctic Rally Finland is always very specific in the championship [due to the conditions] and these events don’t really show the car’s full potential for the rest of the season, âhe explained.
âOf course the team did a great job and they should be proud to beat Toyota on Finnish roads.
âArctic Rally vs. Croatia, or the rest of the season, doesn’t have a lot of similarities, but of course we are working hard to develop further.
âThe percentage of events on asphalt is much higher in the championship [this year], it will therefore be important to do well in Croatia, âhe added.
With Rally Croatia, the first pure asphalt WRC competition since Rally Germany 2019 – which it won – and tests still severely reduced due to Covid-19 travel restrictions, Tanak took part in this weekend’s Rally Sanremo. end.
He will be joined at the specially created event that follows these cars into the main field through the Ligurian Alps by his teammate Thierry Neuville and Hyundai protege Pierre-Louis Loubet.
âDuring the COVID period, our testing has been very limited, so every mile we can do in the car counts,â Tanak said.
“The characteristics of Sanremo are not really similar to those of Croatia, so it will mainly be a question of giving an impression of asphalt.”