M-Sport driver Ott Tanak heads into the final day of Rally Sweden on Sunday in a fantastic position to challenge Toyota’s Jari Matti Latvala for the outright victory of round two of the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship.
Tanak is currently in second place having been on the podium throughout today’s stages with the exception of SS12 which was cancelled due to the speed of the new cars.
Tanak who took three stage wins today commented by saying:
It’s been a really enjoyable day. We had some more consistent grip levels and were able to really push. The morning loop was really good for us and I think we can be happy with the job we have done.
“We’ve had a clean run and a really good feeling with the car. We lost a little bit of time passing Kris [Meeke] through the second pass of Vargåsen (SS14), but apart from that everything has been working really well and it’s been a really clean drive.
“The gaps are really small both ahead and behind, but of course the situation has changed a little bit now and it’s the battle for the victory. Honestly, that hasn’t changed my approach. Whether it was the battle for second or the battle for the win, we have to keep pushing and we will just go out there and do our best.
“Anything is possible and, like everyone else, I’m actually quite excited to see what will happen.
A delighted M-Sport team principal Malcolm Wilson commented by saying:
What a battle we are in store for tomorrow. The way the rally was going with Sébastien and Ott opening the road on Friday, I can tell you that this is not the position we thought we would find ourselves in on the final day.
“Now we have everything to fight for with Ott just 3.8 seconds behind the lead and we’re certainly hoping to be in a position to challenge for the win. He’s delivered a superb drive today, and if he can carry on like this then I’m sure he’ll take the fight to Jari-Matti [Latvala].
“Then we have Sébastien not far behind in third. He’s produced another very intelligent drive in difficult circumstances and is there to take advantage of any last minute drama.
“With three cars in the top six, we’ve proven again how strong a package we have in the Ford Fiesta WRC. It’s a credit to all the team who have worked extremely hard in the lead-up to this season.
“Looking ahead to tomorrow, anything can happen. But one thing is for sure. We’re in for an incredibly exciting final showdown!”
Sebastien Ogier who took victory in Monte Carlo last month heads into the final day in Sweden in third place and speaking following Saturday’s action he stated:
I think we can be quite happy with our day. I would have liked to have found a bit more speed but unfortunately that just wasn’t possible. I really tried to push, but every time we were struggling with the grip and hitting the snow banks.
“It was much better than yesterday, but we know that it is a big advantage to start at the back of the field at this rally. We didn’t have the optimum road position, but there is still a fight going on.
“It’s going to be an exciting day tomorrow and we all want to achieve the best result. I’m sure we’ll all be flat-out and we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”