It has not exactly been his trademark before, but so far in 2017 Mads Østberg established himself as the “Jump King” of the World Rally Championship. The Norwegian privateer and his codriver Ola Fløene (Ford Fiesta WRC) recorded the longest jump with 44 metres at Colin’s Crest in Rally Sweden in february. In Portugal three weeks ago Mads and Ola flew again – a huge 36 metre at the famous Fafe jump on the last stage of the rally. In Sardinia this coming weekend the spectacular Micky’s Jump at the Monte Lerno stage will present the crew with new jumping possibilities.
“Really, I’m not driving rallies to jump the farthest!”, Østberg smiles.
“It’s not intentional that we have been flying so far this season, but it has been fun and resulted in a lot of positive publicity. My codriver Ola has been into it just as much, he is just laughing when we are touching the ground again. We have fun in the car and that is actually very positive.”
Østberg is looking forward to challenge again in Sardinia. The end result in Portugal was not as expected.
“We are aiming to put together a whole event without punctures or other technical problems. We won two stages in Portugal and generally the speed was satisfying, but several minutes time loss with a wheel change on one stage just destroyed our chances”, he explained.
It has not exactly been his trademark before, but so far in 2017 Mads Østberg established himself as the “Jump King” of the World Rally Championship
On the positive side Mads really enjoys working with his compact and dedicated Onebet Jipocar team where all members have the same goal as himself.
“We are developing together and that gives me strong motivation. It may be a small team, but there are some very creative and smart minds among us. The idea with the shiny and reflective gold roof on the car, that we ran in Portugal, is just an example of this. It really lowered the temperature inside the car. And will certainly be essential also in Sardinia with very high temperatures.”
“Argentina, Portugal and Sardinia come one after the other and have lots of similarities. They are all technical demanding gravel rallies, and that’s a type of rally I like a lot. All three rallies have rough and narrow gravel roads, but there are some differences. In Sardinia starting positions are more important as there normally is a fine layer of sand and loose gravel on top when we drive the stages first time through. There are also more loose stones and rocks. Our starting position when the rally proper begins on Friday should be an advantage. But we are not alone in having that advantage.”
— Mads Østberg (@MadsOstberg) June 7, 2017