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    The Good, The Dangerous and a smiling Ott Tanak

    Prime Performer – Ott Tanak and Martin Jarveoja

    When Ott Tanak and Martin Jarveoja are within the temper, they’re merely untouchable. This was the case in Sardinia as Tanak ended a victory drought stretching again to Arctic Rally Finland in February 2021. It was a dominant show highlighted by 9 stage wins from the 21 assessments, which supplied a well timed reminder of the supreme expertise that secured the 2019 world title.

    Far too typically in that 15 month hole between drinks, there have been glints of brilliance that most of the time have been extinguished by misfortune or reliability woes with the quick however fragile Hyundai. In Sardinia, Tanak did have his personal reliability concern threaten to disrupt one other encouraging run, however fortuitously the Estonian acquired a slice of luck for a change.

    PLUS: How Tanak turned the tables to ship Hyundai a well timed WRC triumph

    Organisers elected to cancel Friday last two phases resulting from an incident involving WRC2 competitor Laurent Battut moments after Tanak’s i20 N developed a transmission situation that may have value him priceless time in his battle with then-leader Esapekka Lappi. This reprieve allowed Hyundai to repair the problem.

    After rising within the lead as soon as Toyota’s Lappi crashed out throughout Saturday’s first stage, Tanak stamped his authority on the occasion. Six stage wins from a doable eight adopted on Saturday, the Estonian showing again to his sensible finest as he opened up a 46s lead over M-Sport’s Craig Breen.

    Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

    Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, Hyundai World Rally Staff Hyundai i20 N Rally1

    Picture by: McKlein / Motorsport Pictures

    The pace even shocked Tanak himself at occasions, given the i20 N is way from being one of the best Rally1 automobile within the area for the time being. Two extra phases wins arrived on Sunday, regardless of backing off to protect his margin, which served as additional proof that the Tanak of outdated was again and at his devastating finest. In the long run, he took the win by 1m03.2s from Breen.

    “We have now made some good steps,” stated Tanak. “In Portugal, we have been actually struggling and truly we managed to enhance. Little doubt, if the arrogance is there then we will do a great job. We simply have to hold working.”

    This success was performed out in extraordinarily troublesome circumstances for crews that confronted lengthy days and a congested itinerary held on tough gravel phases within the blistering warmth. The temperatures have been made even worse by cabin circumstances being far hotter in Rally1 automobiles resulting from their exhaust design, which means groups have been permitted by the FIA to make last-minute adjustments to assist alleviate the issue.

    “These automobiles are like an oven,” stated Tanak of the warmth. “Inside, it was too ‘nicely finished’, positively.”

    Whereas this was an vital fifteenth profession win for Tanak, it was vastly vital for Hyundai after enjoying catch as much as its Toyota and M-Sport Ford rivals.

    “It has been very difficult, particularly because the starting of this [hybrid] era,” he continued. “We’re positively very glad, particularly for the mechanics. They put in an unimaginable effort all final 12 months and the start of this 12 months. This rally was not straightforward they usually made a great job to maintain the automobile going.”

    Tanak is most actually again and will show to be a thorn in championship chief Kalle Rovanpera’s aspect if this kind continues.

    Pierre-Louis Loubet, Vincent Landais, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Ford Puma Rally1

    Pierre-Louis Loubet, Vincent Landais, M-Sport Ford World Rally Staff Ford Puma Rally1

    Picture by: McKlein / Motorsport Pictures

    Honourable mentions: Pierre-Louis Loubet, Craig Breen, Dani Sordo

    Exterior of Tanak’s brilliance there have been a number of standout drives worthy of point out. M-Sport’s Pierre-Louis Loubet produced arguably one of the best in what was solely his third begin within the Puma Rally1.

    Eyebrows have been raised by some when M-Sport signed the Frenchman after a troublesome 2021 season driving a 2C Competitors Hyundai, however the 25-year-old has been rejuvenated since his transfer to the British squad. The 2019 WRC2 champion ended Friday third and got here inside 0.8s of a maiden stage win, as he led M-Sport’s cost forward of the crew’s full-time driver; Craig Breen, Adrien Fourmaux and Gus Greensmith.  

    Loubet would drop to fifth after a puncture however finally got here by to complete fourth and claimed a career-best end result within the WRC. This was a preferred end result after his nightmare 2021 that led to a damaged hip after being hit crossing a street by a rushing automobile in Paris.

    PLUS: How M-Sport’s religion in Loubet led to a WRC reprieve after a dismal 2021

    Staff-mate Breen additionally delivered his finest drive of the season up to now, equalling his career-best WRC of second. This return to the rostrum for the primary time since Monte Carlo in January was much-needed, having admitted to being “barely misplaced” on the earlier two rallies. Breen, who additionally picked up a stage win, appears to have now discovered his groove within the Puma.

    Lastly, Hyundai’s Dani Sordo as soon as once more confirmed why he’s considered worthwhile secure pair of palms. The 39-year-old Spaniard delivered a mature drive to 3rd for the second occasion in a row, in solely his second begin within the 2022 specification i20 N.

    Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1 with the team

    Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, Hyundai World Rally Staff Hyundai i20 N Rally1 with the crew

    Picture by: McKlein / Motorsport Pictures

    Staff of the Week: Hyundai Motorsport

    Hyundai’s by no means hand over perspective was rewarded in Sardinia. A primary win of the Rally1 hybrid period by Tanak and a double podium courtesy of Sordo has secured the ‘Staff of the Week’ standing.

    Now, it’s honest to say the Hyundai i20N is way from being one of the best automobile within the service park, and life inside the Hyundai camp is way from excellent both. As was evident with Thierry Neuville and ultimately Sardinia winner Tanak, reliability nonetheless stays an ongoing concern, with transmission issues the most recent situation. The issue for Neuville value him two minutes and ended his podium hopes.

    Regardless of being nicely behind its rivals after a late Rally1 sign-off and the shock departure of its charismatic crew principal Andrea Adamo final 12 months, the crew deserves large credit score for its work in overcoming adversity to ship a victory and a 3rd place end in Sardinia.

    Deputy crew director Julien Moncet instructed Autosport that the corporate had skilled a “difficult” and “sophisticated” month, however was clearly a relieved man come Sunday. There may be nonetheless loads of work required to show the i20 N into a daily victory contender, however there’s positively gentle on the finish of the tunnel.

    “For positive, it’s nice reduction for the entire crew,” Moncet stated.

    “We have now pushed actually laborious and we all know we had a troublesome begin to the season, since then now we have pushed very laborious. Each time it was troublesome, we have been shut however not shut sufficient. We had a whole lot of points when it comes to reliability and so forth.

    “It’s actually welcome for the crew and the drivers it’s good to get some motivation again.

    “We all know there’s a whole lot of work to do and that is clear. We have now to enhance on many factors, however proper now let’s benefit from the second.” 

    M-Sport additionally impressed in Sardinia to attain its first podium since Monte Carlo, proving the pace of its Puma, whereas the perceived ‘bulletproof’ Toyota confirmed indicators of weak spot as Elfyn Evans and Takamoto Katsuta had broken radiators, whereas the previous suffered a rear suspension situation. 

    Thierry Neuville, Martijn Wydaeghe, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

    Thierry Neuville, Martijn Wydaeghe, Hyundai World Rally Staff Hyundai i20 N Rally1

    Picture by: Pink Bull Content material Pool

    Second of Heartbreak

    Toyota’s Esapekka Lappi outlined his pace to steer the rally on Friday, however a minor mistake on Saturday’s Stage 10 resulted in massive penalties as he crashed out of the rally. Likewise, Evans had his personal story of woe when a heavy affect in a compression punched a gap in his radiator on Stage 3 .

     

    It by no means rains however it pours, it appears, for Hyundai’s Neuville. The luckless Belgian was first to return throughout dangerously poor visibility on Stage 2 earlier than his i20 N defaulted to 2 wheel drive resulting from a transmission situation that ended his hopes of stable factors. In a bid to make up the misplaced floor, he rolled the i20 N on Stage 12.

     

    M-Sport’s Adrien Fourmaux was seemingly on track for a stable fifth when he ran off the street on Stage 17, which resulted in a complicated finish to the day’s motion.

      Kalle Rovanperä, Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

    Kalle Rovanperä, Jonne Halttunen, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

    Picture by: McKlein / Motorsport Pictures

    Fortunate Escapes

    Kalle Rovanpera endured a comparatively quiet run to fifth, having struggled being first on the street on the unfastened gravel phases. He was nonetheless fortunate to flee a second on Stage 4 that left him with out nearly all of GR Yaris’ rear wing.

     

    Prime Tweets

    Craig Breen reminded everybody that he has a possible comedy profession within the wings as soon as the rally profession has run its course. Breen did his finest to disguise a hybrid situation along with his Ford Puma to the stage finish reporter Neil Cole.

     

    Ott Tanak banished any myths that Rally1 automobiles wouldn’t be as spectacular because the earlier era.

     

    Rally Sardinia actually turned it on when it got here to the surroundings. 

     

    Scorching Photographs 

    Ott Tänak, Hyundai World Rally Team

    Ott Tänak, Hyundai World Rally Staff

    Picture by: McKlein / Motorsport Pictures

    Craig Breen, Paul Nagle, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team Ford Puma Rally1

    Craig Breen, Paul Nagle, M-Sport Ford World Rally Staff Ford Puma Rally1

    Picture by: M-Sport

    Elfyn Evans, Scott Martin, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

    Elfyn Evans, Scott Martin, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT Toyota GR Yaris Rally1

    Picture by: Toyota Racing

    Dani Sordo, Candido Carrera, Hyundai World Rally Team Hyundai i20 N Rally1

    Dani Sordo, Candido Carrera, Hyundai World Rally Staff Hyundai i20 N Rally1

    Picture by: Pink Bull Content material Pool

    #Good #Dangerous #smiling #Ott #Tanak