What Tänak learned from his Croatia warm-up rally

M-Sport's lead driver got plenty of wet asphalt running as the course car driver for Rallye des Ardennes


Rain is rain is rain, regardless of whether the weather’s in Croatia or Belgium. If round four turns wet, Ott Tänak’s preparations are already ahead of the curve.

Tänak’s duties as Rallye des Ardennes course car were carried out in torrential rain on Saturday. Predictably, the 2019 world champion and his Ford Puma Rally1 were more than capable of conquering the conditions.

Times were of no consequence. What was more important was the 90 competitive miles and 12 stages Tänak completed.

“We did as much as we could,” this year’s Rally Sweden winner told DirtFish. “We weren’t competing, so it wasn’t about pushing as hard as we could. It was good to be there – a good chance to get some extra mileage on Tarmac.”

Screenshot 2023-04-03 at 19.30.50

Tänak and his colleagues need no reminding how fickle the Croatian weather can be, with heavy rain playing its part throughout last year’s Zagreb-based event.

Asked how relevant he thought his run on Saturday’s roads around Dinant would be when the April 20-23 event gets going, Tänak replied: “We have to wait to see what the weather will be like in Croatia. We know it can be a tricky event, one which can bring lots of surprises.

“The roads and the conditions were tricky, so this was good experience.”