Why was Spain test important for Tanak?

Ott Tanak believes that his pre-event for Safari Rally Kenya was important for him to feel more comfortable with the i20N and to solve the problems with the engine mapping while he aims to bounce back after the difficulties he faced on the first two rounds of 2024.

The Estonian finished fourth overall in Monte Carlo and faced many problems with the engine mapping of his i20N resulting in not having been able to fight for a better result. He was among the WRC drivers who was the favorite one to win Rally Sweden, but he had to retire with a damaged radiator in Stage 4 after a spin he had. He restarted under the SuperRally regulations on the second day of Rally Sweden, but he still was struggling with the behavior of his car. He is currently in fifth place on the championship standings and 27 points behind his teammate Thierry Neuville while he will start fourth at Safari Rally Kenya on Friday. Last but not least, Hyundai scheduled a three-day test for Esapekka Lappi, Neuville and Tanak in Spain in order to find a proper set-up for Kenya.

"Safari Rally Kenya is a special challenge", Tanak said. 

"To do well you need endurance, especially as the weather can be unpredictable and the roads are very rough, so altogether it is very hard to win there. 

"On the stages it is a lot about the performance of the cars. 

"Of course, with the current Rally1 cars there are places where you can’t be just fast and flat-out, but performance is still key. 

"The preparations and testing in Spain were important for us. 

"At the last two rallies we've been struggling with the engine mapping, so it was crucial to get to high altitude to help things feel more comfortable for Kenya. 

"Personally, I’ve not managed to get into the groove yet this season and don’t have any strong results. 

"I hope I can change that by keeping things clean and scoring well in this rally. 

"I need to deliver".

Photo Credits: Hyundai

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