SÉBASTIEN Ogier has apologised to fellow M-Sport drivers Elfyn Evans and Teemu Suninen for a heavy crash that ended the squad’s Neste Rally Finland pre-event test before they got the chance to drive.
Ott Tänak and Ogier tested a Ford Fiesta WRC in Finland last week and were due to hand the car over to Evans and Suninen on Friday and Saturday respectively.
But the test was abandoned on Thursday afternoon after Ogier crashed on his final run.
“There was nothing I could do to avoid the crash. [There was] a big rock in the line at the exit of a long flat sixth-gear corner,” Ogier explained.
The rock broke the Fiesta’s suspension and sent the car off the road and into a tree. Ogier was uninjured, but the car could not be repaired on location.
“I’m sorry for my teammates who were unable to continue, the car felt fantastic. I’m really looking forward to the rally now – where we hope to secure a good result for our championship defence,” said Ogier, who leads the drivers’ standings by 11 points.
Team boss Malcolm Wilson said: “It’s a shame that our test was cut short, but both Ott and Sébastien came away happy having found a good feeling on these specialist roads.
“I believe that all of our drivers are capable of delivering some very positive results and we’re working to ensure that everyone is as prepared as they can be given the circumstances.”