Q:
Hi Ott, can you please tell us a bit about your rallying history and how you first got into motorsport?
Ott Tanak:
My father was driving at national level from 1988-2003 so it was quite an easy choice for me. In the beginning I competed in some junior rallies and a few rallycross events but I started in 2004 with proper rallies. Until 2007 I was driving a VW Golf Mk2 and then I did one year with a Renault Clio. After that I started to work with Markko [M?rtin] who has helped me progress to the world rallying scene.
Q:
You've already tried the Ford Fiesta RS WRC at M-Sport - how did you like the car?
Ott Tanak:
For sure it's a lot faster with a turbocharger! So far I have most of the experience from asphalt but I'm really happy with my Ford Fiesta S2000 on gravel so I am certain the Ford Fiesta RS WRC can only be better...
Q:
What are your thoughts about Wales Rally GB, do you think it will be a good event for you?
Ott Tanak:
I competed at last year's event in a Group N car so I have some idea of the roads and the conditions. I also know that it's a really tricky event and it will not be easy. [Ott finished first in the Production Car World Rally Championship (P-WRC), at last year's Wales Rally GB].
Q:
What has been your best memory/highlight as a rally driver so far?
Ott Tanak:
This year's Rally Italia Sardegna was good for me because we had our first win in the S-WRC with the Ford Fiesta S2000. [Ott was seventh overall and holds the record as the highest placed Ford Fiesta S2000 in a WRC event]
Q:
What has been your worst moment?
Ott Tanak:
That's an easy question to answer - it was definitely to lose our fight for victory in the S-WRC this year at Spain. To finish runner-up is the first loser!
Q:
How is your relationship with Markko [Martin?]
Ott Tanak:
We are good friends and he is also managing my rally programme. Markko has given me an insight into rallying on a different level and is doing a lot for me which I really appreciate.
Q:
If you weren't a rally driver what do you think you would be doing instead?
Ott Tanak:
For as long as I can remember I've had a passion for motorsport and I couldn't imagine not working with motors of some sort! When I'm not rallying, I'm busy in a workshop so I'd imagine I'd probably be in some sort of mechanic job.
Q:
What is your fitness regime like?
Ott Tanak:
I am working extremely hard at my fitness regime. I have a fitness trainer and we are mostly working in the gym but sometimes we go jogging and cycling too - they are good sports for sweating!
Q:
Who is your motorsport idol?
Ott Tanak:
I have to say Markko M?rtin as I have a great deal of respect for him. He was the first Estonian driver to win a world rally event and he has helped me realise my dream of becoming a World Champion could be possible. Markko has also done a lot for rallying in my country.
Q:
Tell us a bit about your home life?
Ott Tanak:
My home is on an island called Saaremaa [Estonia] where we have a house. It's very peaceful and we also have some pets including two horses so it's a good place to relax.
Q:
Favourite holiday destination?
Ott Tanak:
I travel all over with rallying so I've seen a lot of great places over the past few years. If I had to choose one I'd say is South Africa - it's a very special place.
Q:
Favourite food?
Ott Tanak:
I love traditional Estonian food which is mostly based on meat and potatoes so I'd have to say that potatoes and meat sauce is my favourite.
Q:
Where do you aim to be in three years' time?
Ott Tanak:
I'd like to be driving the fastest World Rally Car! I don't know exactly where the future will take me but my ultimate dream is to fight for the world championship title!