Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja did not get a second successive victory at Rally Poland. They had a crash a couple of stages before the finish after a weekend-long fight with Thierry Neuville.
Coming into the final day of competition 3.1 seconds adrift of the lead, Tänak was untouchable through the opening speed test. He was five seconds faster than anyone else through the treacherous and demanding conditions.
But the excitement of what Tänak called a near-perfect stage would be short-lived. The Estonian was one of a number of drivers to be caught out by a particularly tricky section through the following speed test, and luck was not on his side.
Following the slightest of brushes with the bank, his Ford Fiesta WRC was sent into a spin and impacted with the trees. With too much damage to continue, that was the end of the road for Tänak and Järveoja.
Despite the disappointment, the Estonians will regroup and come back stronger in Finland – confident in the knowledge that they have the performance to challenge for victory.
Tänak: “It was one of those things, and we’ll be back stronger”
“What can I say? Obviously, it’s really disappointing to have finished the rally like this and I am just so sorry for the team and all of the fans who came here to support us”, Tänak said.
“We were ready for the fight and had a really good run through the first stage [on Sunday morning]. We were pushing hard, but it was a clean run and I would say almost a perfect stage for us.”
“Then on the next stage, there was just one really slippery place in the forest. We touched the bank with the rear of the car. That pulled the front into a spin and into the trees. There was too much damage to continue, and that is where our Rally Poland came to an end.”
“It was one of those things, and we’ll be back stronger. This one wasn’t to be, but we know that we have the performance and now it’s all focus on Finland.”
— Ott Tänak (@OttTanak) July 2, 2017