Ott Tanak says he is looking forward to heading back on to gravel and despite going into the unknown at Rally Australia he feels a top five finish is the minimum expected.

The M-Sport Ford driver has only contested Rally Australia once before, last season for Drive Dmack in WRC 2 where he was forced to retire, and admitted he is a little apprehensive about the event with such little experience.

"I've only done this event once before and of course it means that it will be one of the more challenging events for me and Raigo [M?lder, co-driver], but the stages are fast and smooth which should suit us. If we can have a good recce, then I'm sure we'll be ready for it.

"The biggest challenge coming to Australia is how different it is. The nature and even the stages themselves are very different to anything else we experience throughout the year.

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Tanak, who is eighth in the WRC championship standings after three consecutive strong results in Portugal, Finland and Germany respectively, is hoping to maintain his fine form in the second half of the season and close the gap on Citroen's Kris Meeke and his M-Sport team-mate Elfyn Evans.

"It's difficult to say how competitive we will be having never driven a world rally car at this event, but I definitely want to be competitive and the top-five is the minimum we'll be aiming for," Tanak said. "It's a nice feeling to be heading back to gravel. It's a more familiar surface for me and we know that we can be competitive so I'm looking forward to it."