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Tänak at the 2017 Rallye Deutschland
15 October 1987|
Kärla Parish, Estonia
|World Rally Championship record|
|Active years||2009–2012, 2014–present|
Martin Järveoja (2017–)|
Raigo Mõlder (2014–2016)
Kuldar Sikk (2010–2012)
Kristo Kraag (2009)
M-Sport (2011–2012, 2014–2015, 2017)
DMACK (2014, 2016)
Pirelli Star Driver (2010)
|First rally||2009 Rally de Portugal|
|First win||2017 Rally Italia Sardegna|
|Last win||2018 Rally Turkey|
|Last updated on: 7.10.2018.|
Tänak won the Estonian Rally Championship in 2008 and 2009, driving for the team run by former world rally winner Markko Märtin. Tänak made his World Rally Championship debut on the 2009 Rally de Portugal, finishing 20th overall. In September 2009 Tänak won the European Pirelli Star Driver shootout held in Austria. This gave him the opportunity to compete on six rounds of the 2010 World Rally Championship season. He won the PWRC category on the 2010 Rally Finland and 2010 Rally GB.
Tänak scored his first WRC points in the 2011 Rally Mexico, and finished 3rd in SWRC. In Italy he collected his first class win with an outstanding performance. He continued to impress in Greece, as he was leading after the first day, but rolled his car on the first stage of the second day, and had to retire. In Finland he finished 3rd, and looked like he has only mathematical chances of winning the title. But with victories in Germany and France, he put himself back into title contention, arriving in Spain only 3 points behind leader Juho Hänninen. However, he hit a rock on the first stage, breaking his Fiesta S2000's front crossmember, and had to restart under SupeRally rules, meaning that he basically lost all of his chances of becoming the champion. He finished the event sixth in SWRC, and runner-up to Hänninen in the championship standings.
He made his debut in a WRC-spec Ford Fiesta prepared by M-Sport Stobart at the 2011 Wales Rally GB, testing tyre supplier DMACK's tyre compounds in preparation for their entry into the championship in 2012.
In 2012, Tänak was the number one driver for M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, and with a Ford Fiesta RS WRC he drove the full 2012 season. At the Rally Sweden Tänak took his first stage win on SS14. He later had a season with ups and downs. After retiring in Sweden with engine failure, he finished fifth in Mexico. But in Portugal, he slid off the road, forcing him to return under Rally2 (formerly SupeRally) rules. The next round, Rally Argentina started well for Tänak, but continued badly: he collected punctures, and slid back to 37th, but fought his way back to 10th. In Greece, he was doing well until he had to stop due to suspension damage and had to use Rally2 again. He crashed out in New Zealand, but on Rally Finland, the next round, he bounced back with a 6th-place finish. He followed this up by two crashes in Germany and Great Britain. After these poor performances, he went on to finish sixth in France. He scored his first podium in Italy, the penultimate round of the season, by finishing 3rd behind winner Mikko Hirvonen and Evgeny Novikov. The final round of the season, the Catalunya Rally, was bittersweet to him: on the first day, he was even leading the rally, and was lying fifth when he crashed out on the last stage. He finished 8th in the final standings, winning 8 stages during the season.
In the year 2013, Tänak was no longer a part of M-Sport World Rally Team and was forced to leave the WRC stage. He started competing in and leading a team at Estonian national rallies, OT Racing, and the first rally under his direction was Võru Talveralli 2013. Tänak's first competitive rally in 2013 was Rally Tallinn, driving a Subaru Impreza WRX STi N12, in which he finished 2nd, just after Georg Gross, who was driving a 2008 Ford Focus WRC, and just 0.4 seconds ahead of Alexey Lukyanuk, who was driving in a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution 10. In season total, he finished 6 rally events, of which one he won and came 2nd in the rest, all behind Georg Gross. At the season finale, Saaremaa Ralli, Tänak led the event at the penultimate stage by just 4.4 seconds ahead of Georg Gross. Five stages before the penultimate stage, Tänak, with his WRC experience, knew that he would have to really push in the early morning when others are still waking up. He succeeded and built a lead of 15.9 seconds ahead of Egon Kaur and 20 seconds ahead of Georg Gross. But it wasn't enough, he was driving on the limits of his Subaru Impreza and couldn't go any faster. Georg Gross caught him on the final stage and won by 2.4 seconds. He finished the season by winning the N4 class with 3 points ahead of Timmu Kõrge.
Tänak joined the DMACK World Rally Team in 2014, which he drove under WRC2, and M-Sport, where he took part in Sweden, Portugal and Sardegna with a Ford Fiesta RS WRC. Raigo Mõlder served as his co-driver and his WRC-2 teammate was Jari Ketomaa.
In 2015, Tänak returned to M-Sport Ford World Rally Team following the retirement of Mikko Hirvonen to compete in the Ford Fiesta RS WRC. His best result of the season was claiming third in the 72nd Rally Poland, matching his career-best result.
After a year in DMACK World Rally Team, Tänak returned to M-Sport Ford World Rally Team, teaming up with 4-time world champion Sébastien Ogier, who chose M-Sport after Volkswagen's withdrawal. Tänak changed co-drivers, with Martin Järveoja replacing Raigo Mõlder. Tänak started the year really well, with third place in Monte Carlo and Argentina and second in Sweden. In Portugal, Tänak led at the end of day 1, but hit a bank and punctured a tire early on day 2, eventually finishing 4th. However on the next round in Sardinia, Tänak inherited the lead after a mistake by Hayden Paddon, and despite a final day charge by Jari-Matti Latvala finally took his first WRC victory. He lost a chance of making it back-to-back wins when he crashed early on the final day in Poland. After finishing a frustrating seventh in Finland, the Estonian surprised many by taking a faultless win in Germany, the first time Ford or M-Sport has won in Germany since it became a WRC event in 2002. The Estonian went on to finish the year with third in Spain, sixth in Wales and second in Australia, to finish third in the championship behind teammate Ogier and Thierry Neuville.
Before the 2018 season Tänak signed a two-year deal with Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, run by 4-time world champion Tommi Mäkinen. His team-mates are Jari-Matti Latvala and Esapekka Lappi. While many speculated that the Estonian would take considerable time to get used to the team and the car, Tänak has shown immediate speed in the Toyota - finishing second in the opening round of 2018 Monte Carlo Rally, taking another podium in Corsica in the 2018 Tour de Corse and winning the 2018 Rally Argentina having led from day one by a strong margin. He and the Toyota Yaris WRC have been highly competitive in every round but similarly to Sebastien Ogier Tänak was hampered by an unadvantageous spot in the starting order in 2018 Rally Sweden and suffered a turbo failure with the Toyota in high altitudes of 2018 Rally Mexico. Tänak repeated his success in Argentina with three consecutive rally wins in Finland, Germany and Turkey respectively.
|Season||Team||Starts||Victories||Podiums||Stage wins||DNF||Points||Final result|
|2010||Private/Pirelli Star Driver||7||0||0||0||3||0||–|
* Season still in progress.
|2010||Pirelli Star Driver||Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X||SWE||MEX||JOR||NZL||FIN
|2011||MM Motorsport||Ford Fiesta S2000||MEX
|2014||Drive Dmack||Ford Fiesta R5||MON||SWE||MEX
|2014||MM Motorsport||Ford Fiesta R5||JÄN||LIE||GRE||IRE||AZO||YPR||EST
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-05. Retrieved 2016-04-20.
- "Rallybuzz.com". www.rallybuzz.com.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-05. Retrieved 2016-04-20.
- Ott Tänak sõlmis Fordiga viieaastase kontrahti (in Estonian)
- Evans, David (3 November 2011). "Ott Tanak to give DMACK tyres their World Rally Car debut in Britain". Autosport. Haymarket Publications. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
- "Tanak takes first stage win". World Rally Championship. International Sportsworld Communicators. 11 February 2012. Retrieved 11 February 2012.
- "Ott Tanak back in WRC in 2014". Crash.Net. Crash.Net. Retrieved 19 December 2013.
- User, Super. "A TEAM WITH POTENTIAL: M-SPORT CONFIRM EVANS AND TÄNAK". Retrieved 7 March 2018.
- Rudd, Anna. "TÄNAK TRIUMPHS WITH RALLY POLAND PODIUM". Retrieved 7 March 2018.
- "Tänak uncertain of 2016 plans". WRC.com. WRC Promoter GmbH. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
- Evans, David (17 January 2018). "Ott Tanak felt stuck as Sebastien Ogier's number two at M-Sport". autosport.com. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
- "HÕISSA, PULMAD! Ott Tänak abiellus". Õhtuleht (in Estonian). Retrieved 25 August 2018.
- "Palju õnne! Ralliäss Ott Tänak abiellus oma kauni kallimaga". Elu24. Retrieved 25 August 2018.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ott Tänak.|
| Estonian Athlete of the Year