Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja won an exciting Rally Portugal in their Toyota Yaris WRC and cleverly slowed at the end of the Power Stage to ensure that Sébastien Ogier/Julien Ingrassia (Citroen) lead the FIA World Rally Championship and will therefore start first on the road in Sardinia.

This is what Tänak had to say at the Rally Portugal post-event press conference.

Ott, congratulations on a fantastic win. You said at the finish that this was one of the hardest wins in your career. Now the dust as settled, do you still think that?
“Yes, this is definitely one of the hardest wins I have taken. There have been plenty of hard weekends but to win this rally the way we did was tough. First of all, on Friday, it was looking promising. We had a good position from where we started. It was not so bad. On Saturday morning, after a couple of kilometres, we broke a brake line and had no brakes. After this, it became quite complicated but I was still happy to come to service leading the rally. The afternoon was still interesting. We had other issues and somehow managed to bring the car back in the lead. Today, the roads were much smoother and we could fight for the position.

Considering your road position, you set some incredible times?
“I would say that, during the recce, we expected a difficult opening day. It looked loose and looked tough for all the event. The road position looked to be crucial. In the end, I started the first stage and had a good feeling in the car, the balance was there and it was working. I was happy.”

On the Power Stage, it appeared that you were faster that Sébastien Ogier. Did you slow towards the end?
“It was a long story. The Power Stage was a long one. At first, we were thinking about the strategy a little and we thought that every point would be important at the end of the year. We were going to be three ahead of Seb without the Power Stage points. I thought that I should be faster than him. The plan was to collect as many points as possible but Kris made his mistake and that changed everything. Seb was on the podium and we were on the same level on points. I knew I needed to be a bit slower to avoid opening the road in Sardinia. Then Thierry got in between us and I lost another point.”

Ott Tänak and Martin Järveoja wear Stilo WRC DES Zero 8860 helmets.

Ott Tänak, Martin Järveoja, Rally Portugal, Toyota Yaris WRC, Sébastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia, Citroen, FIA World Rally Championship FIA World Rally Championship 2019 / Round 07 / Rally Portugal / 30th May - 2nd June, 2019 // Worldwide Copyright: Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC