Ott Tanak was pleased to get a better understanding of his Hyundai i20 WRC on asphalt after taking part in Rally di Alba on Sunday.
Whilst the Estonian’s pace in the i20 on gravel is unquestionable, having led the two previous gravel events before suspension damage saw him retire in both Portugal and Sardinia.
However in April, Tanak was well off the pace in Croatia and said at the time that he just did not have the feeling for the car on tarmac.
Despite winning all nine stages on the event Tanak didn’t win due to a 2min 30 second penalty for leaving service late, but he believes he has put in the groundwork to discover more speed in the car on sealed surfaces.
“The plan for Alba was to clarify the feeling from Croatia,” said Tänak. “We were there to make sure of the topics we need to still work on during the summer before the Tarmac season starts later this year. In Croatia, the car handling and balance were not really suiting to me.
“We still have a few months before the next Tarmac WRC round in Ypres and we will find out how much we’ve been able to do when we get there.
“We tried some things in Alba, but that rally was about learning rather than trying to fix things. The target wasn’t to win the rally in Italy, it was to learn more and collect more data – we have done that.”
Tanak finished 90 seconds behind eventual Croatia Rally winner Sebastien Ogier in April and will be keen to close this gap due to the second half of the WRC season being fifty perfect on asphalt.
Ypres Rally in Belgium marks the start of three remaining asphalt events, with Spain and Japan rounding the season off meaning any late title charge fightback will require Tanak to get on top of the i20 on this surface and quick.