OLIVER AND ELLIOTT SECURE BEST EVER WRC RESULT IN YPRES
Fourth in Ypres Rally Belgium and my best result ever in the World Rally Championship. I needed that!
What a difference one rally makes. I’m very happy with the result and the way we achieved it. Before I say more I want to say a massive thanks to all of you. You all know me and my family very well and you know how much this sport means to us. It was tough a couple of weeks ago in Finland, but we came through this result. I’m happy!
From the start of the rally, I was talking about driving in the middle of the road and trying to build the confidence and not take so many risks. That’s what we did. But it wasn’t easy – like all rallies, you need to commit in the corners to make the car work. When you have the cuts on the inside of the corner, you have to take those cuts. If you don’t then you are in the loose, the gravel and the mud on top of the road and then you can slide to the ditch on the outside.
And when you take the car through the cut, you have to drive it through, you have to be really on top of the car and pushing quite hard. For sure on Friday, this was not so easy, I wanted to take it a little bit careful. The weather was not helping either, all the time with the possibility for the rain.
But for Saturday and Sunday, things were coming easier. I was getting the confidence, the car was feeling great and I was really enjoying driving. Last year I went well, first time in Ypres. I was leading WRC2, so I knew I had some pace here – but the step to the Rally1 car was really big in these roads. That took some time, but it’s all good and it’s all there now.
We came to today in a fight with Adrien [Fourmaux, M-Sport Ford], but I was clear that I wasn’t going to take any risks. I wanted fourth place, of course I did – it’s the best result in the WRC for me, but I wasn’t going to risk everything. In the end, he had a problem and we made the position.
What a fantastic result for Ott [Tänak, Hyundai Motorsport] and Martin [Järveoja, co-driver]. They won in Finland on the fast gravel and now they come here and win on the asphalt – that’s great and it shows how the i20 N Rally1 is moving forwards and the team in the right direction.
I’ll say it again: what a difference one rally can make for Elliott and me. In Finland I was a little bit on the floor, but Belgium and all the brilliant fans, my brilliant sponsors and the brilliant team have got me flying high again. Once again, thank you!