Defending World Rally Champion Ott Tänak spent a day in France getting used to the Western European roads this week ahead of the Ypres Rally next month.
DirtFish caught up with him to ask how his pre-event test had gone.
How was the test?
It was good. The conditions were tricky, like you can expect. Like I told you before, I think, overall, the car felt a little bit like Germany [set-up].
You’ve won Germany three times, so you know what a good car feels like for those conditions – did you get that feeling from the i20?
The feeling in the car was good. Was that good enough to beat the others, we have to wait and see. The team has been working hard and now we have to see if that work has been enough. But, yeah, I was happy with the test and the car.
There’s so much speculation about Ypres, how easy is it to put all of that to one side and focus on your preparations.
I don’t know anything. I didn’t hear anything and I stopped listening to things. We keep preparing in our normal way for the next event – there’s no point in thinking about things that we can’t change or things which might not affect us.
Your team-mate Craig Breen won Ypres last year and tested the day before you – how much can you lean on him for car set-up?
The car is quite similar for all three of us – nobody goes in a very different direction and we’re all in the same sort of window for this. In the end, it’s just about small preferences and making the car work for our own driving style. Sort of fine-tuning rather than making big changes to the car.
And finally, France for a Belgium test?
It was only just over the border, something like 10k or something like that. It was just working better for the road we wanted to test.