Tänak is on 240 issues, 28 issues forward of reigning champion Sébastien  Ogier (Citroen) and 41 issues forward of third-placer, Belgian Thierry Neuville (Hyundai), entering the penultimate spherical of the season, the RallyRACC Catalunya – Rally de España based totally at Salou, 100 km from Barcelona.

Tänak’s co-driver, Estonian Martin Järveoja, additionally tops the co-drivers’ desk, by way of the similar margin of issues.

Tänak remained wary about his possibilities of clinching his first ever WRC identify this weekend, on the other hand, fairly than within the ultimate race of the season in Australia in November.

“I don’t believe it is sensible to possibility the whole thing to win it right here,” Tänak advised ERR’s sports activities portal Wednesday. 

“The season leads to Australia, now not right here [in Turkey]. The primary purpose is to win the identify by way of the tip of the yr. Whether or not that comes right here or in Australia does not topic in itself,” he added.

Toyota Gazoo Racing boss and Finnish rally legend Tommi Mäkinen, who himself received the WRC identify in 1997 on the very venue the place this weekend’s rally takes position, was once extra unequivocal, chatting with ERR Thursday after an preliminary check run crowned by way of 4 Toyota drivers, together with Tänak in fourth position, because the group has its attractions at the group championship as neatly.

Toyota Gazoo Racing recently lies eight issues at the back of table-toppers Hyundai.

“I perceive this case with Ott the place the force is emerging…we’re looking to stay this force as little as conceivable to take a look at to stay the entire group comfortable and with a just right feeling, as this impacts the motive force as neatly,” Mäkinen advised ERR (see video hyperlink underneath) in Spain.

“It could impact your individual efficiency if the force is just too prime, as I do know from my very own revel in,” he persevered.

“I am very assured we can, sure. I understand it’s tricky; if I have in mind my very own occupation when there is numerous force you get started taking issues somewhat steadier, which impacts your occasions, you then suppose you wish to have to start out going sooner, so you’re taking extra dangers, which will motive some little errors – however such tiny issues can simply occur, as it is very psychological,” Mäkinen persevered.

The primary level correct for RallyRACC Catalunya begins Friday morning on a difficult circuit which accommodates a novel mix of gravel and fast paced ashphalt, taxing group crews to the prohibit.

ERR’s sports activities portal is liveblogging the race (in Estonian) right here.

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