TITLE CHANCE FOR TANAK ON RALLY SPAIN
Toyota Gazoo Racing World Rally Team head for Rally Spain this week with Ott Tänak seeking to close in on his first drivers’ world championship title. The team are looking to continue their strong form into the penultimate round of the FIA World Rally Championship, a mixed-surface event running from this Thursday to Sunday (24 to 27 October).
Tänak leads the drivers’ championship race by 28 points and the team are just eight points off the top of the manufacturers’ table after three wins in the last four events.
Tommi Mäkinen, Team Principal, said: “We are on a good run at the moment and we need to keep pushing for the best results in Spain and Australia, with the drivers’, co-drivers’, and manufacturers’ titles in our sights. We have been preparing for Spain just as planned, with our pre-event tests on both gravel and asphalt. The mix of surfaces can mean that this is a tricky rally to get right, but we are confident in how our car performs on both types of road. We are taking nothing for granted and everyone is working hard to provide our drivers with the strongest car possible.”
For Tänak the focus is on dealing with the challenges of the road surfaces and the weather: “As always, I will aim to do my best, but we need to be smart. We know that it could be tricky for us on the first day, as we’ll be running first on the road on gravel. The weather could change things too, we saw last year that we can easily get rain in Spain at this time of year. But I believe that our performance should be good on both surfaces,” he said.
The rally is based in Salou on the Costa Dorada in eastern Spain. After a ceremonial start on Thursday, the rally begins on Friday with two loops of three stages that are principally on gravel, but with some asphalt sections in La Fatarella – Vilallba, the longest stage of the weekend at 24 miles. Saturday’s schedule features two loops of three asphalt stages, plus a short stage in Salou itself. Sunday’s action comprises two runs of the Riudecanyes and La Mussara stages, separated by service in Salou, with the second pass of the latter test as the rally-ending Power Stage.