Martin Prokop has conceded it was his own fault he failed to finish Rally Sweden last weekend, round two of WRC 2014.
The Jipocar Czech National Team driver had been running twelfth overall in his privately-entered Ford Fiesta RS WRC, when he binned it in SS22, the 19.26 kilometre Torntorp 2 test. It was a disappointing finish to the event, although it had got off in a similar fashion, when he put his car in a ditch in the first proper stage, Torsby 1, losing over 3 minutes.
While he then hauled himself back up from 39th, it all proved academic given what happened with just two stages remaining.
“There was heavy snow during Friday night and with every car on the stages, the route got quicker and quicker. Fortunately we were no more the very first car on the road, as we were the day before, so we could set better times and enjoy the driving a bit more,” Prokop reflected.
“The first special stage on Saturday afternoon was then cancelled, but on the very next one [SS22] I made a mistake when the back of the car went off the road. As the car flipped over the front ended up off the stage. We fell in such a muddy creek hidden under snow and ice alongside of the road and as there was nobody to help us in the middle of the woods it was the end of Rally Sweden for us. We spent a lot of time trying to get back but the only result was a burnt out clutch and a wet and frozen crew.
“[Overall] another shame after an unlucky Monte Carlo, but what can we do? ...That is rallying sometimes. We are competing in Mexico again in a few weeks so we must hope that we can start the season successfully there,” Prokop continued.
Team manager Quirin Müller meanwhile added: “The conditions in Sweden were quite specific this year [given conditions were so mild] and many drivers had similar problems as Martin. It was big misfortune for us [to have the problem in SS22], but at least the car is not badly damaged."
"Martin performed well [too] and set some good times on Saturday and that is a small consolation for us. We are now without a single point after two events though, and so the whole team has to work hard for Mexico, where we desperately need to score good points."