OTT TÄNAK BELIEVES TOYOTA GAZOO RACING’S 2018 TITLE SUCCESS HAS HELPED SETTLE PRE-SEASON NERVES ON THE EVE OF THIS WEEK’S SEASON-OPENING RALLYE MONTE-CARLO (24-27 JANUARY).
The Estonian, winner of four WRC events last season, led Toyota to its first manufacturers’ crown since returning to the WRC after a 17-year absence.
The success lifted the weight of expectation at the Japanese manufacturer and Tänak is predicting the team’s recent record will support its bid to claim further honours in 2019.
“We got a good relationship in the team and we managed to improve and develop in the season pretty well. It’s looking good for the future,” Tänak told wrc.com.
“This year, going into the season for a second time with the same car, same people, same team definitely feels a lot more relaxed.”
With Jari-Matti Latvala and the returning Kris Meeke joining him in Toyota’s line-up at this weekend’s Monte, Tänak predicts the team has arguably the strongest driver combination.
Tanak meanwhile has his sights set firmly on a maiden drivers’ crown.
“The approach is just to focus on the title,”Tänak confirmed. “It was a similar approach last year but it was a bit more complicated at the beginning, especially when going into every event we didn’t know what to expect – that made any kind of strategy quite difficult.
“It was hard to know where we were going to be and what we were capable of. It was not easy, but this year I believe we have a bit more knowledge going into the rallies.
“We still have the same target but at least we know what tools we have to achieve it. That makes our life a lot easier. We can prepare better.”