It should have been a nice start into the second half of the season after its summer break, four competition days and 360 racing kilometres in epic Finnish forests. Instead of it – third unfinished race of the 2014 season and a lot of troubles on top of it. Rally Finland means continuous bad luck for Jipocar Czech National Team led by Martin Prokop as he had to withdraw from the race also last year after water pump failure. This year he crashed in the afternoon section of the second Leg and because the damage of the car was too heavy to continue, Martin and his co-driver Jan had to leave the race. Their Ford Fiesta WRC is actually being repaired in M-Sport and it will be very close to be ready in time for German Rally.
Martin Prokop: “Finland this year was a bit crazy from the very beginning. The surface of special stages was very dry and much faster than during few years back I remember. The best drivers set up extremely fast pace what is the same as happened in Poland on previous rally. Everybody is trying to catch Wolksvagen and it makes the factory drivers to go faster and faster. It is quite difficult for us as privateers to keep the pace with them. For the whole rallying world and its fans it is of course very positive, everything is moving forward, getting better and more dynamic. 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 catch with the times of Evans. Taking the incredible pace on the top of the leader board into consider, our loss was not too bad. Unfortunately after some mistake in pacenotes we went off into bush for the first time on Thursday morning and since that moment we had some small problems with geometry of the rear axle. We were not giving the fight up and pushed during the next stages but then came the third afternoon special stage where after one jump I was no more able to keep the car on the road and crashed to a small rock with the rear right wheel. It was a big hit but fortunately the car started spinning what released the energy gradually. It was no pain for me and co-driver Jan, but a big hit for Fiona, our car. Our mechanics together with people from M-Sport tried to help us to be able to enter the next Leg under Super Rally regulations but after we removed the rear cross-member, it was clear that the result of the impact was massive and the chassis is heavily damaged. I feel sorry for the crash and stepping back from the race but the critical moment came in the heat of the race when something was at stake and I tried to go on the limit. It was not a needless thoughtlessness or lost of concentration.”
Manager Quirin Müller: “It is hard to find some positive words now after the third unfinished rally of the season and with heavily damaged car, however I have to appreciate the work of our mechanics who together with guys from M-Sport made 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 Slovakia World Rally Team so there is no other scenario for us than having the Finnish warrior back in shape for Germany.”
ADAC Rally Deutschland will take place on August 21st- 24th on tarmac roads of Mosel vineyards and Baumholder military area.
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