Ott Tänak revisits a familiar complaint again

Hyundai's Ott Tänak is contending for victory at the Rally de Portugal.
Ott Tänak
Ott Tänak. Photo by: Hyundai Motorsport GmbH
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Tänak’s season has been a disappointment so far, but no mistakes have occurred in Portugal.

After Friday, Tänak is in fourth place in the rally, with only a 5.4-second gap to the rally leader, Toyota’s Kalle Rovanperä, before Saturday.

“A consistent day. I can’t say we are really confident in the car. But generally, we’re still in the fight, and the road stayed in really good shape. So, the afternoon actually was quite enjoyable,” Tänak said.

Indeed, the Estonian seemed to enjoy the afternoon loop and was able to increase his speed. Tänak can even dream of his first victory of the season in Portugal.

“At the moment, we are all close, so I would say everything is possible. Let’s see how we can react overnight to be a bit more on the pace tomorrow,” Tänak pondered.

Despite the good speed, Tänak has again not been very satisfied with his car.

“It seems to be a general thing. It’s something we’ve been struggling with this year. It was not that bad in 2022, but the car has developed in some directions. It’s a bit difficult to suit it to myself. Now I try to find a way to drive the car. It took a bit of time in the morning.” Tänak recounted.

Tänak mentioned that there is no technical solution available for the issue.

“Generally kind of balance, which is not easy to manage. We try to get it more in the window, but how close we can get, let’s see. Tomorrow, the structure of the roads is completely different. The characteristic is much smoother and narrower, and faster again. We will see how it behaves there,” Tänak anticipated.

Nine special stages will be run on Saturday in the Rally de Portugal. The competition concludes on Sunday.

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