Poland provided a rally of mixed emotions for the M-Sport squad with Ott Tänak scoring his first podium of the year with third place overall, while Elfyn Evans suffered the heartbreak of his third bad event in a row with a water pump failure in his new Fiesta.
Despite brake troubles early on, Tanak was in the form of his life saying at the finish: "I cannot tell you how much this podium means to me, Raigo [Mõlder] and the whole team. We have all worked so hard to get to this point and it is an incredible feeling to know that hard work is finally starting to pay off. I felt really good in the car all weekend and I have just enjoyed every single minute of it. Of course I have been on the podium before, but this is different. This was us – pure speed from us and the car and that is special."
As for Elfyn: "It's been three bad events in a row for us now so hopefully that's the end of it and we can look forward to making a comeback in Finland. Ott has really proven what the new car can do this weekend and that provides all of us with a huge amount of confidence moving forward. I think we had the potential to be relatively quick here. I don't know if I would have been on the same pace as Ott as he was simply incredible, but when everything was working well I felt really good in the car and I think we could have been where we wanted to be. Unfortunately we didn't get the mileage to prove that so we'll just have to try and prove it in Finland."
Naturally, Malcolm had a word or two to say: "It's been a sensational drive by Ott and Raigo. It's been great to see them gain confidence over the last couple of events and now to be able to deliver a result like this is absolutely fantastic. He's had a tough few years but he's really coming of age now and I think our strategy with both drivers is starting to prove its worth. The plan was always for the guys to use the first half of the season to find their feet, and then push the limits a bit more to see what we could do. It seems to be working, so let's just hope it continues."
"But the most important thing for us as a team is to see how competitive the new car really is. That's what we've been working towards and the morale within the team has been lifted tenfold by this result. With so many fastest stage times and such an encouraging performance by Ott, this is almost as good as a win for us and I'll be buying the beers tonight!"
I'm sure we'll all drinking to that. Cheers boys - and girls!