Challenging first day in Rally Sweden for Mads Østberg

It became a challenging and dramatic first day in the New Ford Fiesta WRC for Mads Østberg and codriver Ola Fløene in Rally Sweden. They first had to accept 50 seconds time penalty after being five minutes late out of service in Torsby. Technical issues with the front diff and a gearbox change was the reason for the penalty. Then on the first stage (SS4) after service the rear wing broke from the car when they were travelling at nearly 200 km/h.

-It was a nasty and dramatic experience. The areodynamics on these new cars generate so much downforce and when you loose the rear wing and consequently more or less all rear downforce and grip, its not nice at all, says Mads Østberg.

Driving two more stages without the rear wing gave further timeloss and the team elected not to drive the last stage (SS8) before service in Torsby. The team will start Saturday under Rally 2 rules, a total of ten minutes  behind rally leader Thierry Neuville.

-With all the lost time the overall result was only of academic interest. We chose to give ourselves better time to service the car, sort out the technical issues and prepare for tomorrows stages. We have only had two days of testing so far and need the milage without pressure, says Mads.

The first leg of the rally was still promising for Mads and Ola. After three stages in Norway Friday morning they  were fastest Ford-team in 5th Place, only 11 seconds behind rally leader Therri Neuville. The distance to 3rd Place was a mere 2,5 seconds.

-We felt we were being properly competitive, and the car is absolutely fantastic to drive when everything functions as it should. I have a much more positive feeling, also drive-wise, than I had after the last events some months ago. I am already looking forward to Saturdays stages, even if we are far behind, says Mads Østberg.

Opprettet  : Friday, February 10, 2017 av Annelene Østberg
Sist endret  : Saturday, February 11, 2017 av Annelene Østberg