10 May 2014
Rally Argentina: Not the start we hoped for - Ostberg
Citroen's Mads Ostberg rues early exit on Rally Argentina, but will get to re-join under Rally 2 on Saturday
“Not the best feeling right now, and this was certainly not how we planned it!” – that was Mads Ostberg's assessment after he crashed out of Rally Argentina in the opening stage on Friday.
Ostberg had been second quickest in the short opening super special on Thursday afternoon. However in the first 'proper' test, the 27.09 km Santa Catalina-La Pampa 1 stage, he went off 16 kilometres in and was unable to continue, after clobbering a rock and knocking off a wheel of his Citroen DS3 WRC car.
“About 16kms in to the first stage, in a flat right hand corner that continued in to a small crest, the rear of the car lifted too much and we landed with the front first,” he explained on his Facebook page. “While still in the air, the car turned left and down towards the ditch, even before the wheels hit the ground. Then we must have hit a rock and damaged the left front wheel and suspension."
“Not the best feeling right now, and this was certainly not how we planned it! Hopefully back on the road tomorrow,” he added.
Citroen has since confirmed via Twitter that Ostberg will be able to re-start on Saturday under Rally 2. He will begin Saturday's action in 17th place, more than 10 minutes off a place in the top-ten.
Meanwhile, Kris Meeke kept out of trouble and finished the day in third in the sister car: “It was a fantastic day,” he noted. “It wasn't always easy because the stages were really difficult. When I saw that [Andreas] Mikkelsen and [Thierry] Neuville had stopped [in the final test], I eased off a little to hold my position.”
“This afternoon, we went with the soft compound whereas all the other crews opted for hard tyres. I think we drove pretty well, really,” continued the Brit, who was third fastest in SS5, fourth in SS2 and fifth in SS3 and SS4.
“Tomorrow, we'll need to apply the same strategy and make sure we continue to avoid making any mistakes.”
“It was an incident-packed day,” summarised Citroen Racing deputy team boss, Marek Nawarecki. “We knew that the stages were going to be demanding. Almost half of the WRC crews didn't finish the leg. Mads made a mistake. As regards Kris, he managed to stay out of trouble. He also showed he could up his pace on the second loop this afternoon.”
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