Citroen's Mads Ostberg has retired from Rally Finland in the mid-day service today following an impact with a rock in SS18.
Ostberg completed the morning loop in fifth, getting through the 10.01 km Leustu 1 test, SS18 and posting the fourth fastest time despite what he described as a “massive” impact when he hit a rock. However, despite seemingly getting away with it, it was discovered that the rollcage had been damaged in the lunch time halt and he was forced to call it a day.
“What a huge disappointment to be forced to retire,” Ostberg wrote on his Facebook page. “I cannot express how gutted I feel right now. We didn't have the best start to the rally, but made progress all the way and this morning we had a great rhythm and the pace was good. We were on the course for a big battle with Andreas and Mikko for fourth place, and we really enjoyed driving today. Unfortunately the impact on SS18 caused damage to the rollcage.”
Citroen deputy team principal Marek Nawarecki told the official WRC site: “Mads reported a heavy impact on SS18. When we got the car back we carried out a thorough investigation of the front right suspension but in fact the impact was underneath the car on the undertray and this in turn damaged part of the rollcage in the engine bay.
“It's not something we're able to fix here so we have no choice but to withdraw his car from the rally,” he added.