Tanak Doubles Down in Portugal

This is the Statt Mann Baby. Time to Scatt a little bit.

I was part of the world media banging the drum when Estonian rally driver Ott Tanak out dueled Sebastian Loeb and Sebastian Ogier to win the World Rally Championship round in Chile two weeks ago.

Loeb and Ogier represent the last 15 world rally titles. Tanak? He’s just entering the world stage spotlight. Hands were wringing over the thought of another shootout this weekend.

2019 Tanak Portugal

Tanak , though, doubled down on the Chile success winning in Portugal this weekend. Ogier was third but Loeb showed some age crashing out after a difficult event that found him fighting off backmarkers all weekend.

Tanak, in fact, had wisdom in Portugal. You get bonus points for doing well in the last stage of a World Rally Championship round. The Power Stage is largely for television and the extra points encourage drivers to do well in front of the cameras.

Tanak, though, slowed at the end making sure Ogier won the Power Stage. He surrendered the points but Ogier’s success means he’ll start first on the road at the next event in Italy. First on the road means you get to clean away the gravel so all the cars behind you have a faster track to follow. Smart.


June 2, 2019

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