Reigning World Rally Champion, Ott Tanak and co-driver Martin Jarveoja endured a wild moment during the Rallye Monte Carlo. The Estonian and his co-driver were fortunate to escape with no serious injury after a huge crash during the WRC round.
As it turned out, the WRC driver speared off the road, halfway through the 12.8-mile stage. The incident took place somewhere between Saint-Clement-sur-Durance and Freissinieres. As he smashed into an embankment, his Hyundai i20 Coupe rolled several times before stopping tlower down the mountainside.
To the relief of many, Tanak and Jarveoja exited the car unaided and appeared to be unharmed. At the time of the incident, the Estonian was running in fourth-place. He was 10.3 seconds adrift of event leader and Hyundai team-mate Thierry Neuville, and eager to make up some time.
Following the conclusion of the fourth stage, Neuville has dropped to second with Toyota’s Elfyn Evans taking over the top spot with a 3.4s advantage.
— Tomi Tuominen (@T_Tuominen) January 24, 2020
Evans now sits 3.4s clear of Neuville and 5.5s clear of six-time Monte Carlo rally winner Sebastien Ogier in third, who also is making his Toyota debut.
When did Tanak make his WRC debut?
Ott Tanak has been racing since 2009, but his first proper season was in 2011 when he finished 15th. After three Top 10 finishes in the championship, he was 3rd in the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Finally, he made the giant leap up to become the WRC champion in 2019. He defeated teammate, Theirry Neuville and Sebastien Ogier, with 6 wins in the season.
Last year, he created history by being the first Estonian driver to win the WRC championship. In addition to that, Tanak was the first non-French champion since 2003, when Petter Solberg won the title. The 32-year old is also Toyota’s first World Rally champion since Didier Auriol, who clinched it in the 1994 season.