Hyundai's Ott Tanak seeks redemption at Safari Rally Kenya


MOTORSPORTS Hyundai's Ott Tanak seeks redemption at Safari Rally Kenya

Festus Chuma 15:38 - 03.03.2024

Ott Tanak is aiming for a flawless Safari Rally Kenya to recover from early mistakes and close the championship gap.

Hyundai Motorsport driver Ott Tanak is on a mission for a flawless performance at this month's Safari Rally Kenya (28 - 31 March), aiming to diminish the gap at the top of the FIA World Rally Championship standings.

Following a challenging start to the season, the Estonian racer is determined to turn his fortunes around in the third round of the championship.

Tanak's season has been marred by errors, starting with a slip into a ditch during the Rally Monte-Carlo, significantly hampering his chances for a strong finish.

The misfortunes continued in Sweden, where an encounter with a snowbank led to radiator damage, forcing him to retire for the day.

The 2019 world champion concluded the Swedish round in 41st place, leaving him 27 points behind his team-mate and championship leader, Thierry Neuville.

Reflecting on the rough start to the season, Tanak expressed frustration but remains optimistic about the upcoming challenges.

"From my side, definitely too many mistakes to start the season, but we know we can be a lot better. We’re looking forward to having a clean rally in Kenya," said Tanak as per WRC.

His previous experience in the 2021 Safari Rally Kenya, where he secured a podium finish, has not eased the pressures of competing in the demanding conditions of the Naivasha-based rally.

Despite the setbacks, Tanak and his co-driver Martin Jarveoja are no strangers to overcoming adversity.

Their time with M-Sport Ford in the last Safari Rally showcased their resilience and ability to adapt to the unpredictable nature of rally racing.

The team's focus is now on delivering a strong performance in Kenya, where the demanding terrain and challenging conditions will test the limits of drivers and their vehicles.

Tanak's determination to minimize errors and maximize performance in Kenya underscores the competitive spirit of the Hyundai Motorsport team.

"Obviously the mistake on Friday [in Sweden] was frustrating and afterwards even more so. We felt better in the car on Friday when the roads were a bit more slippery, but when the grip improved we just weren’t comfortable," Tanak recounted.

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