Now, it is officially confirmed by Toyota that Ott Tanak moves to Toyota WRC in 2018 season. After the remaining two rounds of the current World Rally season, Ott Tanak will officially become a Toyota WRC driver with a third Yaris WRC ready at Toyota Gazoo World Rally Team stable. Another important announcement is that Kaj Lindstrom, the co-driver for Juho Hanninen will be the sporting manager starting from Rally Australia. This also marks the end of era of Juho’s career at Wales Rally, GB.
The below is the Official press release from Toyota:
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing World Rally Team can confirm that Ott Tänak will drive the Yaris WRC from Rallye Monte-Carlo next year, together with his co-driver Martin Jarveoja. The 30-year-old Estonian, the winner of two rallies so far this season, has been one of the outstanding performers on the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship. TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT will enter its second season with three Yaris WRCs on every event, with Jari-Matti Latvala / Miikka Anttila and Esapekka Lappi / Janne Ferm completing the driver line-up.
Kaj Lindström, currently co-driver for Juho Hänninen, is taking on a new role as sporting director for the team, starting from Rally Australia this year. With this revised line-up, TOYOTA GAZOO Racing WRT will continue its challenge into the 2018 season.
Toyota Gazoo World Rally Team principal, Tommi Makinen had his share of excitement, as below;
“We’re delighted to have secured the services of Ott, having had our eyes on him for a while. He represents the perfect blend of youth and experience, together with the right sort of mental attitude that means he will fit into our team very well. Like the Yaris WRC, Ott has exceeded all expectations this year, so I’m sure it will be a strong partnership with both speed and consistency on all surfaces. I’d also like to congratulate Kaj on his new role. One of my favourite memories of my own driving career is our win in Monte-Carlo together; from this, and the experience of working with him since, I know that Kaj is the ultimate professional and he is sure to be a strong asset as we continue our team’s development. Finally, I would like to express my thanks and appreciation for everything that Juho has done for us. He will always be a member of our family, and has played an important part in taking us to where we are today.”
Some stats about Ott Tanak:
- Date of birth: 15 Oct 1987
- Age: 30 years old
- Nationality: Estonian
- 2008: Estonian Rally Champion
- 2009: Estonian Rally Champion
- 2009: First WRC rally
- 2010: European Pirelli Star Driver
- 2011: 2nd overall FIA SWRC Championship (3 wins)
- 2017: First WRC win, Rally Sardinia, second win in Rally Germany
- Career Statistics:
- WRC starts 77, Victories 2, Podiums 10,
Points scored 379, Stage Wins 73
On the other hand, MSport released their statement too,
Ott Tänak has long been a part of the M-Sport family and, following the announcement that he and co-driver Martin Järveoja will be journeying to pastures new next year, the whole team would like to take this opportunity to wish them both the very best in their new adventures.
Tänak first came to Malcolm Wilson’s attention in 2009 – nominated by former team driver and mentor Markko Märtin to pilot the Ford Fiesta R2 on the Estonian leg of its global launch tour. Tänak was quick to impress and was signed up to a development programme with M-Sport.
Read the complete article here: M-Sport Press Release.