Mads Østberg and co-driver Torstein Eriksen (Ford Fiesta WRC) finished Rally Finland in 10th place, after a challenging but also positive weekend on the superfast Finnish roads. During last weekend the Norwegian driver took part in Rally Rzeszow in Poland (an ERC round) but could not reach the chequered flag after a couple of incidents.
“We had a hard impact on the left hand front wheel on SS6, after I hit a stone in a cut. I was not 100% happy with the steering after that”, Mads explained his problems at Rzeszow.
“With the previous day’s power steering problem in mind, which has not been finally investigated, we took a necessary safety decision, in consultation with the team, after SS7. We need to think safety in the car, but also safety for the spectators and environment along the stage. It’s not dangerous to drive without power steering, just extremely heavy. Look at the onboard video on YouTube, and you will understand it. But if it happens at the wrong place and at full speed it’s dangerous.”
— Mads Østberg (@MadsOstberg) August 5, 2017
Still the performance in Finland was highly encouraging for Østberg
“I’m not thinking so much on the end result, because this has actually been my best rally this season”, Østberg said.
“Except for some bad luck with an offroad excursion, we have been genuinely competitive with many top-three stage times. Torstein has also done a fantastic job jumping into the co-drivers seat on relatively short notice. We will just have to work with the positive experiences from this rally. And therefore I am really positive before the rest of the season.”
For Poland he had another new co-driver – Patrick Barth from Sweden. On Rally Deutschland Emil Axelsson will be on the seat next to Mads.
“Its really tough with two WRC rallies and one ERC event in only 17 days. But also very interesting and challenging with the chance to evaluate three different co-drivers. I am looking for a permanent co-driver to partner me further on. Torstein, Patrick and Emil are all possible candidates for this job”, Østberg commented.
But while he is evaluating co-drivers, his probably most popular moment from Rally Finland was the Yellow House Jump in the legendary Ouninpohja. The jump is named after the house alongside the road and is one of the most famous in the world. Østberg flew 50 metres there and kept his “King of the jumps” name.