Rally

Ott Tanak: I’m fighting Ogier/Neuville for 2017 WRC title – WRC


Ott Tanak says his Rally Germany win has played him into the thick of the fight for this year’s World Rally Championship title.

The M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC driver scored a comfortable victory last weekend, after an inspired tyre choice in Friday afternoon’s wet conditions propelled him to the front.

Tanak’s win narrowed the gap to his series leading team-mate Sebastien Ogier to 33 points, while second-placed Thierry Neuville is only 16 points ahead.

“This championship’s not over,” Tanak told Autosport. “It’s never over until it’s over.

“While it’s still possible I will keep fighting and keep pushing.

“I have closed the gap to the two guys in front and that gap’s not too big.

“I know I will have to win more rallies, but that’s what we’re aiming for in the next three [rallies].

“We’ve seen that anything can happen and if there’s any kind of slip or problem then I’ll be right there.

“I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t be right there – but we need to keep winning if we want that title.”

The three remaining rounds of this season’s WRC will take place in Spain, Great Britain and Australia.

Ogier is seeking a fifth straight title, in his first season with M-Sport, while Tanak is enjoying comfortably his most competitive WRC campaign.

He is back in the M-Sport fold after a season with the DMACK-run team, and M-Sport team principal Malcolm Wilson said he was delighted with Tanak’s performances.

“This year has shown us that anything can happen, so I certainly wouldn’t rule Ott out,” said Wilson.

“I don’t want to say too much now, we’ve been in this position before and seen it disappear.

“We have to stay focused as a team and work harder and harder on the last three rallies – and that’s exactly what we will be doing.”



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