M-Sport’s Ott Tanak took victory for M-Sport in Rally Italy winning the event just ahead of Toyota’s Jari Matti Latvala and Hyundai’s Thierry Nueville. Speaking following the event, M-Sport Team Principal Malcolm Wilson commented by saying:
This is just the very beginning for Ott and Martin. There’s nothing quite like that first win and they delivered the perfect strategy with a very impressive drive this weekend. They should be extremely proud of their performance, and I’m sure this victory will be the first of many.
“It’s fantastic to see the way Ott has developed. He’s always had the speed, but now he really does have the full package. I also need to praise Martin. This is his first year at the sport’s highest level and he has taken to the challenge with such ease and professionalism.
“As you can imagine, there was a lot of emotion from the team when Ott crossed the finish line. When you’ve worked with someone as long as a lot of our guys have worked with Ott – and been with him through all of the ups and downs – I can tell you that this one really does mean a lot.
“Sébastien had a tough weekend with his road position, but once again he has shown exactly what makes him a four-time World Champion. I’m sure that he will be keen to put this one behind him, but even on a tough event he’s still collecting the points.
“That is what makes him so special and he and Julien have had such a positive influence on everyone in the team.”
Ott Tanak picked up his first podium since 2012 and speaking following the event, he commented by saying:
All everyone has been asking me is how it feels, and I can confirm, it feels good! It was a really difficult weekend but we had a clever strategy and we stuck to it – and now it’s happy days!
“The team have done the perfect job with the car and Martin has been mega. The whole first half of the season has been great. We have such a strong team – both inside the car and outside the car – and a strong team mate who is pushing me to do my best.
“Everything is coming together and we are improving all the time. We’re still a private team and you just have to look at the result from the year to see what an amazing job everyone is doing.
“This was an important step for us, and now that it’s job done, let’s see where we can go from here.”
Sebastien Ogier finished the event in fifth place and by doing so he has extended his lead in the the championship to 18 points and speaking following the event he said:
It wasn’t the best weekend for us but we’ve come away with 13 points and that is definitely a positive after such a tough few days.
“To lead the championship at the mid-point of the season is great – as long as you’re in the lead, you know that you are doing well.
“Congratulations to Ott on the win. He fully deserves it and it is another fantastic result for the team who have all worked so hard this weekend.”