In the latest exclusive M-Sport World Rally Team column on Crash.net for 2015, we hear from driver Ott Tanak after grabbing his second career World Rally Championship podium finish at Rally Poland while fighting for a potential win and he also looks ahead to the second half of the season...

My performance at Rally Poland was very satisfying, we really wanted that podium place and we pushed hard to take it.

We've been building the confidence and the speed step by step since we got our hands on the new car and I knew if everything went well then we had a good chance of challenging for the podium, but this was better than anything I ever expected.

Leading on Friday was a strange feeling because we had some issues with the brakes so in all honesty my mind was mainly on that. Afterwards when all of the adrenaline settled down, I started to understand what an amazing job we and the team had done that morning.

Sadly slipping back to fourth place at the end of Friday was frustrating and I think everyone saw that. We had the pace to be leading at the end of the day but due to a combination of the brakes and mainly opting for the wrong tyres we slipped down the leader board.

Almost everyone got the tyre choice wrong, but the Volkswagen's at least had some hard tyres and as the wear on my softs was so bad, there was just no way to keep them behind me. It was frustrating, but there was no way I was going to give up the fight.

I wasn't going to let it go without a fight, and I think the fans really enjoyed the intense battle. Jari-Matti Latvala lost out this time in the battle for the podium, but I hope we can have another strong fight with him in Finland.

For me that Power Stage in Poland was particularly special. I think that's the best stage of my life. Raigo Molder, my co-driver, was word-perfect and I didn't put a foot wrong. Of course afterwards you are always thinking about where you could have gained that 0.1 seconds, but I was really pleased. It was Ogier who had the better road position in that stage, and we were so close to him. That means a lot.

Now looking to the second part of the year I want to keep this going. I much prefer the events in the second half of the season, they're smoother, fast and flowing - real driver stages that I really enjoy.

I think we have a good chance of more podiums on quite a few of the events. I really enjoy Finland and Germany and I think we have a can do well in Australia too.

We know that the performance is there, so I think we have to be looking towards the podium at every event from now on. Sometimes we'll make it and sometimes we won't, but I think that has to be our target.

I can't wait for Finland, it's another one of my favourites and I really can't wait. You can never discount the three VW drivers, and I expect Kris Meeke and Thierry Neuville to be back on form. I think it could be a great battle.

Between now and Finland Elfyn Evans and I will both have two full days of testing. Finland is the highlight of the year for so many people and there will be a lot of Estonians there so it's important for us to be as prepared as possible.

Finally, I really want to thank Malcolm Wilson and the team so much. To do what they do with the budget they have is amazing.

Malcolm gave me this second chance and I finally feel as though we are starting to prove ourselves. He didn't stop believing in me and now he has given me this perfect car that is just so unbelievably fast. I am so grateful to every single member of the team, this result was for them as much as it was for me and Raigo and we'll all work harder than ever to stay on the podium.

Ott Tanak.

To keep tabs on the M-Sport World Rally Team's progress in 2015, simply follow this link: www.m-sport.co.uk

 

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