Tänak claims first victory of M-Sport Ford return

The 2019 world champion became a two-time winner of his home country's Otepää Winter Rally

Tanak Otepaa

Ott Tänak has taken his first victory behind the wheel of an M-Sport Ford rally car in over five years, winning Estonia’s Otepää Winter Rally for a second time.

Tänak was using the snow-based event as a warm-up for next week’s Rally Sweden, the only snow-based round of the World Rally Championship.

And unlike Esapekka Lappi and Takamoto Katsuta who contested the Kuopio Rally in Finland on the same day, Tänak was able to avoid trouble and claim a dominant victory.

Aside from a half-spin on entry to a square-left, Tänak’s rally – just his second aboard a Ford Puma Rally1 – was plain sailing and he was able to win by 2m44.1s.

WRC2 driver and 2022 victor Georg Linnamäe finished second and was a clear best of the rest as he was closest to Tänak on every stage in his Hyundai i20 N Rally2 to beat the next-quickest Rally2 car of Gregor Jeets by over a minute.

Although he won’t be competing in Sweden next week, Jourdan Serderidis was also in action for M-Sport in a Rally1 car but finished 10 minutes off his team-mate Tänak’s pace.