Tänak drives rally car for first time since Mexico in R5 test

Reigning World Rally Champion's first miles since Rally México clocked up in private test


Ott Tänak has returned to the wheel of a rally car for the first time since Rally México, driving a Hyundai i20 R5 at a private test in Estonia.

The reigning World Rally champion was running cars from his own Tallinn-based RedGrey outfit on Thursday.

Tänak completed around 100 miles of testing, working on different damper settings and engine maps.

“It was nothing major at all, just some time to get out in the car and drive. I didn’t do so much in the i20 R5 car, so it was really nice to drive it and I’m very impressed!” Tänak told DirtFish.

“But mainly, like I say, it was just nice to be back in the car after the longest time I ever spent out of a rally car. It made me want to go back to work – to proper work – again!”


Hyundai factory junior driver Ole Christian Veiby drives one of RedGrey's i20 R5s at Rally Sweden earlier this season

RedGrey runs Hyundai’s factory effort in WRC2, fielding two cars for Ole Christian Veiby and ERC1 Junior champion Nikolay Gryazin.

That meant Hyundai Motorsport director Andrea Adamo was in the loop on Tänak’s first miles since the WRC season was put on ice, albeit remotely.

“It’s good to get some really positive feedback from Ott driving the car. For the i20 R5, we made a really nice start to the season with [WRC2] podium finishes on all three rounds and Jari [Huttunen] in the top 10 in his i20 R5 and winning WRC3 in Sweden.

“I’m just a little bit sad that I wasn’t able to be there with Ott. Like him and like everybody we miss this sport right now and it would be nice to hear the rally car running again.”

Words:David Evans

Photos:Hyundai Motorsport