It’s not an unusual sight this season to see Ott Tänak’s pace fluctuate on a World Rally Championship event.
On some stages he can be well off the pace of the frontrunners, losing several seconds at a time, and then all of a sudden he’s able to set a blistering pace, making the rest of the field look somewhat insignificant.
It’s been the way ever since Tänak turned a wheel in the Puma Rally1 for the first time in Monte Carlo.
After a run to second place in Croatia, Tänak confessed that he’s struggling to find the “sweet spot” of the Puma.
“Yeah, but it’s just the case at the moment, it’s just at times,” was the M-Sport driver’s response when DirtFish’s Colin Clark suggested there had been real signs of improvement in the car’s level of pace.
“And it looks like in a very small window as well.
“It’s difficult to understand where the sweet spot of the car is.”
Learning that he has a ‘peaky’ car at his disposal does help explain why Tänak’s pace can fluctuate so much on an event.
When the car is in that right window, there’s no denying that the Puma can be one of the fastest cars, if not the fastest, in the championship.
But consistency is the issue.
And Tänak has urged his team to get on top of it quickly, before his rivals in the championship become out of reach.
“So far somehow, we’ve been able to stay in touch which has been mostly positive.
“But I’m pretty sure this is not going to stay like this forever if we don’t find some actual performance that we will take the fight for the drivers’ [title].
“So, let’s see. Let’s see what’s coming.”