Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja showed strong speed during Rally Portugal, proving once again that a maiden WRC victory is not far away.
Claiming three stage victories and posting top-five times through 16 of the event’s 19 stages, Tänak led the way at the mid-point. He established a 6.5 second advantage before his hard work was undone through the first pass of Amarante (SS12).
Getting caught out under braking, the 29-year-old ran wide and impacted with a bank – damaging the suspension and losing the brakes.
The slightest of mistakes cost Tänak more than a minute to the leading pack. He fell to fifth where he was left with no option but to forgo his chance of challenging for the victory this weekend.
Back on the pace for the remaining speed tests, the Estonian soon climbed to fourth. He also took maximum points from the Power Stage to secure a strong haul of points for his championship campaign.
Ott Tänak: “We keep improving”
“Generally, I think we can be pleased with our weekend. We made a mistake on Saturday which meant that we lost the chance to battle Seb [Ogier] for the victory, but we had good pace, good speed and a good feeling with the car”, Ott Tänak said.
“I think this was probably the best set-up that I have had all year. After every test we keep improving. And we’ll have a two-day test to prepare for Sardinia where we hope to challenge for another strong result.”
“This is traditionally the event where you see the true potential of the cars. At the moment, it looks like we have a good package. For sure there are still some small improvements to be made. But it’s certainly looking promising.”
— Ott Tänak (@OttTanak) May 21, 2017