Hyundai World Rally Championship driver Ott Tänak says his Rally Turkey retirement was the result of a steering issue.
Tänak stopped four miles from the finish of the opening Saturday morning stage when his Hyundai i20 Coupe WRC veered straight into a bank.
The reigning World Rally Champion was able to move the car and examined its front-right corner, but walked away after doing so.
He reported to his team at the time that he had seen a steering temperature alarm, and speaking to the media after his retirement said: “Yes, we can confirm we had some kind of steering issue.
“We don’t know exactly yet as the car is still in the forest and first we need to wait for it to come back to service to see what actually happened.”
Tänak said the problem “was quite instant”, and that although his car had not been returned to service he thought it would “not be too big [a] worry to repair” in time for Sunday, which will include the points-paying powerstage.
“I’m pretty sure we are back tomorrow,” he said.
Victory on his home round of the WRC in Estonia – his first since joining Hyundai – two weeks ago propelled Tänak into this year’s title fight, putting him 13 points behind Toyota’s Sébastien Ogier.
A second retirement of the season is therefore a major blow, with Ogier currently leading in Turkey and only two more rounds currently scheduled to take place in 2020.
Asked what he felt the stoppage did for his title chances, Tänak replied: “We all know what it does, so it’s not the positive.
“I guess there is nothing too much to comment.”