M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s Ott Tanak scored a valuable podium finish at the Central European Rally, the penultimate event of the 2023 FIA World Rally Championship.

The Estonian finished the Rally in third place just behind winner Thierry Neuville and champion Kalle Rovanpera.

The result was also great as all three manufacturers, Hyundai, Toyotaand Ford shares the podium.

It’s a great outcome after the weekend so not a bad weekend at all. Staying out of trouble gave us something good back. I would say we weren’t that competitive this weekend but we also didn’t have a great start position on Friday and by lunchtime that day we were already in a position where there was no need to push things further so we focussed on managing the weekend. Let’s see what Japan brings and maybe there is more competition for us.”

M-Sport WRC Team Principal Richard Millener said:

Firstly I must give a special mention to Adrien and Alex. To go from 15th to 1st over the course of the weekend is incredible. The culmination of hard work from the team pushing through the Rally2 updates, to his mechanics and engineer giving him the best car and setup, to the crew themselves, showing what they are really capable of – it was all just perfect. I am so happy for them both and they really deserve their chance again in Rally1 next month.

“Ott and Martin scored a second consecutive podium. I think it is fair to say Ott wasn’t comfortable in the car in these conditions, so to stay determined and to never give up has seen a second consecutive podium, something we are all very happy to see.

“Gregoire and Louis were really impressive, with so little experience of Rally1 they showed what potential they have, really well done to them both, the smiles on their faces make it obvious to see how they feel!

“And Pierre and Ben, although not the end to the season they hoped, it was a really great year working together and we all hope we can continue that journey in 2024.

“Finally, to the organisers, it is never easy to set up a new event – especially when there are three countries involved, and then when the weather is so tricky! But, they did great – I think this rally has a very strong future and I look forward to returning next year! I hope they all now take some well deserved rest.”

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