M-Sport driver Ott Tanak goes into the weekend’s action at Rally Sweden in third place overall following a fantastic Friday for the Estonian.
Tanak was in the top ten throughout the eight super stages on Friday which included a number of podium finishes including a win in the final stage. Speaking following Friday’s running he commented by saying:
It’s been a really difficult day. This was my first experience of being one of the guys opening the road and I never knew how hard the job was for Seb – now I can say that it is very difficult! Even with those challenges, I think we managed the day really well and I think we can be happy with our performance.
“The gaps were really close before the last stage and I pushed really hard to get the positon for tomorrow. The further back you are the better the conditions will be and I gave it everything. It was a big effort, but there will be some really fast stages tomorrow so the push will have to continue.
Reigning World Rally Champion Sebastien Ogier who took victory last time out in Monte Carlo heads into the weekend in fifth place overall and speaking following the day of action he commented by saying:
We really tried everything we could, but it’s clear that the conditions have not been on our side today. Following the historic cars this afternoon was especially difficult as the first car on the road and there really wasn’t much we could do.
“I’ve been pleased with our drive and I think we did a good job with the challenges we had. Tomorrow we will have better conditions so we’re looking forward to a more enjoyable day. We weren’t able to show our true performance today, and tomorrow I think we’ll have a better indication of where we are.
M-Sport Team Principal Malcolm Wilson stated:
This rally is notorious for close-fought competition and it seems as though this year will be no different. We have all three of our cars in the top-ten, and I’m sure that there will be some exciting battles over the next two days.
“We’ve seen a really strong afternoon from Ott. We had some small technical issues this morning which cost him some time, so to be in podium positon at the end of the day was a really strong performance.
“It was a difficult day for Sébastien running as the first car on the road but he never gives up the fight, and I’m sure he’ll be putting some pressure on the guys at the front tomorrow.