Ford WRC privateer Martin Prokop is in a race against time to be ready for Rallye Deutschland following his crash in Finland.
Prokop crashed on day two, going off in SS11, the repeat-run through the 20.51 km Kakaristo test. Prokop and co-driver Jan Tomanek both escaped unharmed, but their Fiesta RS WRC car was heavily damaged and they were not able to continue under Rally 2.
Instead the car was immediately sent back to M-Sport's base in the UK for repairs and the Jipocar Czech National Team concedes now “it will be very close to be ready in time” for Germany.
“It is hard to find some positive words after our third DNF of the season and with a heavily damaged car,” said team manager Quirin Muller.
“However, I have to appreciate the work of our mechanics, who together with guys from M-Sport, did an incredible job and stripped the car completely in 90 minutes for its transport to England for general repair.
“Now we are counting every hour before the German Rally as the timing is really tough. Our second car is ready for the Slovakia World Rally Team so there is no other scenario for us than having the Finnish warrior back in shape for Germany.”
Prokop meanwhile revealed that the off in SS11, was linked to what happened earlier on: “I think that I started quite well as I focused on the fight with Henning Solberg for the post of the best privateer and also tried to match the times of [Elfyn] Evans. Unfortunately after some mistakes in the pacenotes we went off into bush for the first time on Thursday morning and since that moment we had some small problems with geometry on the rear axle,” he explained.
“We were not giving the fight up though, and pushed during the next stages but then came the third afternoon special stage [on Friday] where after one jump I was no more able to keep the car on the road and crashed into a small rock with the rear right wheel. It was a big hit but fortunately the car started spinning which released the energy gradually. It was no pain for me and Jan, but a big hit for Fiona, our car.
“Our mechanics, together with the people from M-Sport, tried to help us to be able to enter the next leg under Rally 2 regulations. But after we removed the rear cross-member, it was clear that the result of the impact was massive and the chassis was heavily damaged.
“I feel sorry for the crash and having to retire but the critical moment came in the heat of the rally when something was at stake and I tried to go on the limit. It was not a needless error or due to a loss of concentration,” Prokop stressed.