Tanak not far away from finding his full confidence with the i20N

Ott Tanak says that he felt more confident with the Hyundai i20N Rally1 on the penultimate day of Rally de Portugal compared to Friday and believes that he could have gone for the victory without the puncture while he is looking forward to Rally Italia Sardegna.

The Estonian driver was struggling to feel confident with his car on Friday, but he climbed to third position on the opening stage of Saturday and managed to lead Rally de Portugal at the end of Stage 12. However, he suffered from a slow puncture in Stage 13 and lost almost twenty seconds resulting in slipping behind Sebastien Ogier who was the new rally leader. Tanak fought hard since the start of Saturday afternoon loop to retake the lead and managed to decrease his gap from Ogier to ten seconds before the Powerstage, but eventually he finished on the second place of the podium and 7,9 seconds behind the eight-time WRC Champion. The most important thing is that Tanak and Martin Jarveoja were the highest-rewarded crew in Portugal with 26 points and are now third on the championship, seven points behind Elfyn Evans and Scott Martin.

"The outcome is not too bad, it was just very unfortunate to pick up the slow puncture, but otherwise I would say very positive", Tanak said. 

"Without the puncture, I think I could have gone for the win. 

"On Friday I was struggling the most, but after I was slowly getting used to the car and that let me find a good rhythm. 

"On Saturday the stages were very different, and overnight I was able to understand what I needed to do differently from Friday to make the most of the car. 

"We are not far away from being in a place where I feel confident controlling the car, but it’s still a bit difficult to make the car match my driving style. 

"I am looking forward to Sardinia, it’s a rally I usually enjoy and I’m hoping to take my performance one step further".

Photo Credits: Hyundai

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