M-Sport's Ott Tanak has had to retire from day two of Rally Mexico after he was unable to make it to SS11.
The Estonian had been due to compete under Rally 2
after his M-Sport mechanics fixed his car following his dramatic exit on Friday, when he went off the road in SS3 and the car wound up in a reservoir.
He was 4 minutes late out of service this morning due to gremlins and then had suffered further issues en-route to SS11, Ibarrilla 1 – the first test of the leg. He will now re-join on Sunday for the final three stages.
“It was something mega what the guys did last night,” said Tanak. “That's why I had to be there with them. There was crazy emotion, and when the baby's engine started to roar it was an absolutely amazing feeling!
“The M-Sport guys have always been impressive. You can give them anything and they'll get it back on its wheels – they're mega! It's such a privilege to be in this team. They are always behind us and that is such a big boost for a crew.
“Obviously we had some issues this morning and we tried for a long time on the road section to fix it. The car was generally running, but not perfectly, and we want it to be perfect for the stages so as not to cause any more damage.
“At this stage we think it's something to do with one of the sensors. She's drying out now, and if it can be fixed, I have no doubt that these boys will fix it!”
M-Sport later confirmed it was definitely a sensor issue that stopped "TiTanak" - as the team's PR has dubbed the Estonian's Fiesta RS WRC - from running.
“It was a fantastic effort from the whole team last night so it was disappointing for everyone not to get Ott's car back on the stages today," said M-Sport boss, Malcolm Wilson.
"There was some moisture in a component that we weren't expecting, but we've addressed that now and should hopefully see the boys back on the stages tomorrow. It's really important for them, and for the whole team, to get back out there."