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Ott Tänak: I would like to get to know Kenyan nature a bit better

2019 World Rally Championship champion Ott Tänak is looking to improve on his track record at the Safari Rally in Kenya next week, and has also expressed appreciation of the event’s setting.

Tänak lies in third place in the drivers’ table after six stages, no mean feat given the M-Sport Ford team he drives for is less well-funded than the Toyota and Hyundai works teams.

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Tänak said that the East African country’s rally offers some interesting experiences in terms of the scenery and wildlife, but the rough gravel roads will prove a challenge to drivers.

“I wish we had more time to enjoy life in Kenya, because the nature here is so much more special, compared with our lives in Europe. But we have a bigger challenge, keeping the car in one piece,” he said.

Tänak added that getting stuck in some sections and having a hard time in following the track, where co-driver Martin Järveoja will be tested to the max, were some of the challenges in an event which the Estonians have yet to meet with major success in.

“We have to, together with the team, ensure that we don’t get any mechanical problems due to the conditions, and then just put on a good performance.”

Tänak has 85 points going into Rally Kenya, behind reigning world champion Kalle Rovanperä of Finland, driving for Toyota (118 points), and ever-the-bridesmaid Belgian Thierry Neuville, Tänak’s former teammate at Hyundai, on 93 points.

Rally Kenya starts a day earlier in the week than most WRC events, on Wednesday, with a shakedown run, followed by stage on proper on the Thursday, and the remainder Friday to Sunday.

The event takes place around Naivasha, around 100km North of Nairobi.

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