In only his second FIA World Rally Championship outing in the Puma, Tänak won his second Rally Sweden victory and his first win with M-Sport since 2017.
The Estonian pair now lead both the drivers’ and co-drivers’ championships after their historic win.
The dream win for the M-Sport team comes after a phenomenal performance from Tänak, who stayed locked in a tight battle for the top-spot throughout the rally, not once dropping lower than second overall in the standings.
Tänak’s teammate, Pierre-Louis Loubet, took sixth place and scored some deserved points to get his championship attack on track.
Ott Tänak said: “It’s quite impressive, not so bad at all. When we came into the rally, we didn’t really know what to expect. In the build up to the rally we understood that we were never going to be the fastest, but we’re happy to have kept our average pace pretty high and alongside the other guys.
“As a team, we made sure we didn’t have any bad stages and didn’t lose any time anywhere; that was the key. Sweden is unique, we only rally here once a year. It’s the same for Mexico, and opening the road there can’t be a big advantage! It’s a great start to the championship, probably more than we expected. For sure we can improve a lot, and the plan is to pick up the pace.”
Richard Millener, Team Principal, said: “To come here and not be too sure of where we would be placed, and to come away from this event with the win is something that is really special for us all.
“We all knew that Ott and Martin were capable of this speed and results, so to see it come to fruition on only the second event of the season is even more exciting. I cannot wait for the next event in Mexico already.”
Mark Hallam, Marketing Manager, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, said: “It was a fantastic performance by Ott on his return to the M-Sport team. I’m sure we are in for a thrilling WRC season and that the NGK customers who are M-Sport fans can’t wait for Rally Mexico to start on March 16.”
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