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.”
For more information about NGK and its products and services, please visit the website at www.ngkntk.com/uk
Notes to Editors
About NGK SPARK PLUG:
Worldwide: NGK SPARK PLUG is one of the leading automotive and technical ceramics suppliers, with its corporate headquarters in Nagoya, Japan and sales organisations and production facilities all over the world. The automotive side of the company specialises in the fields of ignition and sensor technology, supplying Original Equipment customers across the globe. For the Aftermarket, its product portfolio comprises spark plugs, glow plugs, ignition coils and leads under the NGK Ignition Parts brand. Under the brand NTK Vehicle Electronics the company offers oxygen sensors (including NOx sensors), exhaust gas temperature sensors (EGTS), mass air flow (MAF) and manifold absolute/boost pressure (MAP) sensors as well as engine speed and position sensors. With around 16,400 employees, the company’s automotive and technical ceramics activities generate a total annual turnover of around 3.7 billion Euros worldwide. NGK SPARK PLUG’s EMEA sales represent 32% of this global turnover. NGK SPARK PLUG operates on all continents and has 60 group companies, 35 production plants, five Technical Centres and three Venture Labs.
Aftermarket EMEA: NGK SPARK PLUG has seen significant growth across the Aftermarket since expanding beyond motorcycle parts into the automotive sector in the 1970s. With an outstanding commitment to quality, technology and research & development the company has become the world’s number one in spark plugs and oxygen sensors, and a leading provider of glow plugs, ignition coils and leads as well as further sensor technology. Organisationally NGK SPARK PLUG’s regional headquarters in Ratingen, Germany serves the Aftermarket across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In the EMEA region the company has six regional companies and more than 1,000 employees, as well as two production plants in France and South Africa and a Technical Centre in Germany.
For more information please visit: www.ngkntk.com
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Annika Lustig, Specialist PR & Communications, Aftermarket EMEA, NGK SPARK PLUG EUROPE GmbH
Harkortstr. 41, 40880 Ratingen, Germany, AG Duesseldorf HRB 43118
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