Just hours after winning the latest round of the FIA World Rally Championship – Rallye Deutschland – Estonian star Ott Tänak has confirmed he will attend Rallyday at Castle Combe on September 23.
Tänak’s sensational drive to victory in Germany (August 17-20, Saabrücken) was one of the highlights of the season so far, as he danced his Ford Fiesta WRC through the wettest and worst conditions imaginable to collect his second World Rally Championship win; his maiden success came at Rally Italia Sardegna in June.
Confirming he would return to Castle Combe for Europe’s biggest and best one-day rally show, Tänak said: “I was at Rallyday in 2012 and it was a lot of fun with some really nice cars. I’m looking forward to going back again and meeting all the people – it’s good to be able to see the fans away from the pressure of the normal [WRC] rallies.
“It’s fair to say there was quite a lot of pressure when we were competing in Germany and winning in those conditions was fantastic for me and the M-Sport World Rally Team. My win with Séb [Ogier] finishing third shows how strong the Ford Fiesta WRC is and how well this team is working this year.
“The changeable weather was a big part of the last round in Germany and I think, sometimes, it can be a little bit like this in England… but it’s no problem for me to do donuts in the rain! Actually, the last time I was at Rallyday, I think I remember getting a bit sunburned it was so hot.”
Tänak is also looking forward to showcasing M-Sport’s record-breaking Ford Fiesta R5. Since it was launched in 2013, the Cumbrian-built machine has been a dominant force in both domestic and international rallying, notching up 159 outright rally wins in 29 countries last season.
Now in its second evolution, more than 200 of the cars have been built and sold by M-Sport and Tänak’s looking forward to reacquainting himself with the Fiesta R5.
“I have always been a really big fan of this car,” he said. “I drove one in 2014 and that was a season which really helped me to progress to where I am today. The car is fantastic to drive: it’s light with good power and, most importantly for Rallyday, it has a fantastic handbrake!
“With the intensity of the World Rally Championship, it’s nice every now and then to drive a rally car, have some fun and do some skids – that’s what I’m looking forward to doing at Castle Combe next month.”
Tickets are available here, priced £18 for adults. Under-17s get in free and rally car rides are available for £25 (when purchased in advance). If you fancy starting Rallyday early, camping permits are available at Castle Combe circuit for £10 per person.