Tänak expecting Toyota to dominate Estonia

The home hero is hoping he can challenge, but is aware of Toyota's strength


Home hero Ott Tänak is expecting his former team Toyota to dominate this weekend’s Rally Estonia.

Tänak, who became world champion with the Japanese marque in 2019, has only won in Estonia once since it’s been included in the World Rally Championship – driving a Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC to victory in 2020.

In both of the years since, Toyota and Kalle Rovanperä have claimed the top spot.

Tänak was third last year but was forced to super-rally in 2021 after puncturing from the lead on the third stage, and then going off in his haste to make back time.

Ahead of his first ever home event for M-Sport Ford, Tänak fears the Toyotas – which will feature an engine upgrade this weekend – could be too hot to handle for the rest, despite undergoing what he described as “quite intense preparations”.

Tänak told DirtFish: “[It will be difficult] fighting with Toyotas to be honest. So yeah, let’s see when we get there [but] I’m sure Toyota will be definitely really dominating.

“In the end Hyundai was quite strong as well. So we have some big giants we need to fight for, so it’s not going to be easy.”

A win on the Lõuna-Eesti Ralli, as well as his pre-event test, gave Tänak his first impression of the Puma Rally1 Hybrid on fast gravel.

“It’s been a big effort to make it as good as possible for Estonia,” Tänak explained.


“Obviously, the next two events are purely about performance, so we’re putting everything into it and we’ll find out how close we get to the others.

“Now we are going into the second half of the season we’re definitely not letting the championship go,” he added, “so we feel like we need to increase our game and put everything in.

“It’s going to be a short turnaround to Finland, so if something isn’t quite working in Estonia the week in between will be flat out, but hopefully in Estonia we will be on a good level already.”

Team principal Richard Millener is confident of a good M-Sport result.

“Compared to the last event in Kenya, Estonia is a completely different challenge. It’s one of the fastest events in the season, and this year one of the most important for us – the home event of Ott,” he said.


“We know we will have huge Estonian support over the course of the weekend. We have put a lot of effort into preparing as best as we can for the rally with the pre-event test and Lõuna-Eesti Ralli.

“It would be fantastic to see Ott do well at home, and that is of course the goal for the rally. I also believe Pierre-Louis [Loubet] will be in a strong place here, with good experience of the event over the last three years.

“Estonia is such a beautiful and fantastic country – I can’t wait to get back there.”