Rally Italia one of the toughest rounds on the WRC calendar, high temperatures,dust,and unforgiving rocky roads. A rally built around survival not just speed.
Heading into the rally Ott Tanok was one of the favourites to take the win driving MSports Ford Fiesta.
Thursday super special stage would see the top few separated by seconds and Ott sitting in second place heading into the first proper day of rallying. For the first few drivers through the stage it would prove challenging due to a lot of losse gravel and lack of grip meaning they would be clearing the road benifiting drivers further down. Tyre choice was key and Ott went out on soft tyres which proved the right decision and by mid day he was holding 4th position and maintened this position heading into the Saturday stages giving him a good road position starting out on Saturday morning.
Saturday would see the start of a chain of events leading to Ott taking the over night lead. The drama unfolded early on for some of the other teams but the young Estonian kept his cool and drove a near perfect day to end the day sat in the middle seat in the press conference and leading the rally and once again showing the raw speed he has behind the wheel and the Ford Fiesta was working perfectly for him.
Sunday morning heading into the last day Ott held 24.3 second lead heading into the last 4 stages, the 1st stage sore a small error costing him a few seconds followed by another problem after the next stage of dust coming into the car which was a problem they needed to sort out, and luckily they had time to find were and do there best to fix this. The penultimate stage Ott still had a clear lead and the one question remained would history from rally Poland 2016 repeat itself when he gained a puncture and that deprived him of his maiden win, and luckily this wasn’t to happen and he drove a solid stage to hold the lead heading into the power stage, and what a drive he gave the fiesta through the stage and into the last 2kms you could hear the passion from the crowd the commentary team and through the flying finish to take his maiden win in fine style.
The start of the year Ott found himself with a new co driver Martin Jarveoja and he has stepped up to the mark straight away and they are building a truly amassing partnership all ready.
Next up we head to rally Poland and once again Ott is one of the favourites here. Will he take his 2nd win here that remains to be scene, on the back of this win you have to fancy his chances in Poland .
Photo credit to France 24