DMACK World Rally Team's Ott Tanak says it is “hard to say” why he picked up that victory denying late puncture on Rally Poland.
Tanak had been on course for his maiden win until he lost 40.5 seconds in the penultimate stage of the event when his front-right tyre deflated. He eventually finished second, 26.2secs adrift off Andreas Mikkelsen, with DMACK stating in its post-event PR that he had clouted a rock, damaging the wheel and tyre.
Asked how the puncture happened and if he hit something, Tanak, however, wasn't so sure.
“It's hard to say,” he replied. “It happened early in the stage and I felt it going down with around 13-14 kilometres to go. It felt like the tyre was on the rim.
"I was still pushing on the rim and we had some nasty moments after. That is rallying. It's hard to take it but there will be a payback time.”
Despite the bitter disappointment, however, Tanak added he will take many positives away from the weekend, given the performance of the car and the tyres - and of course himself.
“I had the full package and I had everything working for me. The team was helping me a lot and it helped me to do my own job,” he explained.
“I had a good feeling. If it's feeling good you have no limits in the car and it does not feel so risky. I had good fun in the car. When you drive on the limit at these crazy speeds you end the stage smiling.
“This performance also proves what we are capable of and the improvements DMACK has made with the tyres,” he concluded.