M-Sport’s Ott Tänak said that Rally Guanajuato Mexico was a positive event for him despite missing out of the podium for the first time this year.
Tanak finished fourth, over a minute behind Thierry Neuville’s Hyundai in third, but managed to cement his grip on third place in the championship.
The Estonian had been in joint second place after the spectacular opening stage in Mexico City before overheating concerns saw him fall a minute adrift of the lead on the opening loop of the first day.
While the issues were resolved, a less advantageous road position than his rivals meant he was unable to make up the lost time.
Despite this Tanak posted a string of competitive times throughout the rally including the fastest time on Stage 14, as well as being third fastest through the powerstage.
His fourth place and the extra points from the powerstage means he has 48 points on the board, only 18 down of team-mate and championship leader Sébastien Ogier.
“We lost a lot of time on Friday so it was a shame not to be on the podium, but it was still a positive event for us,” Tanak said.
“From yesterday onwards we were back on the pace and setting good times so I’m happy with that.
“It was a very positive rally for the team as a whole and we’ve got some more good points on the board for the championship which is really important.”
M-Sport Team Principle Malcolm Wilson was happy with Tanak’s performance especially since it had helped strengthen M-Sport’s position at the top of the manufacturers’ championship.
“With another podium for Sébastien (Ogier) and with Ott just behind in fourth we’ve strengthened our lead at the head of the manufacturers’ championship,” Wilson said.