M-sport driver could be headed for IOM to im­prove as­phalt form

Motor Sport News - - Rally News - By David Evans Pho­tos: FIA ERC,

Mads Ostberg has been linked to an en­try for the Rally Isle of Man in Septem­ber as the Nor­we­gian chases more as­phalt ex­pe­ri­ence.

The M-sport World Rally Team driver has bought his own Ford Fi­esta R5 to use on se­lected ral­lies away from the WRC in his ef­forts to im­prove his pace on sealed sur­faces.

Ostberg’s fa­ther Morten told MN that he was in­ter­ested in a pos­si­ble Manx out­ing for Mads.

“I don’t know too much about the rally,” he said, “but I have heard some sto­ries. We will have to go to the in­ter­net and do some re­search about this rally, but for Mads, this is what we are look­ing for now. We will go away and talk to some peo­ple and have a look at the po­ten­tial for com­pet­ing at the Isle of Man. Ob­vi­ously, it’s a ques­tion of bud­get, but we want to do Tar­mac ral­lies and it feels nat­u­ral to do them in Eng­land.”

The dates for the Dou­glas-based Septem­ber 15-17 event work for Ostberg, fol­low­ing im­me­di­ately af­ter the World Rally Cham­pi­onship’s new­est as­phalt event, Rally China.

One-time world rally win­ner Ostberg told MN: “I do have an R5 car, which I have in­vested in my­self. I’m try­ing to put a lot of ef­fort in this year to try to im­prove on [as­phalt], that’s why I went to Gran Ca­naria. I will look to do more and if this place fits the sched­ule then, why not?”

Con­test­ing Rally Ca­nary Is­lands for the first time, Ostberg was lead­ing the Euro­pean Rally Cham­pi­onship opener un­til he crashed on the sev­enth stage on the Span­ish is­land.

Bri­tish Rally Cham­pi­onship man­ager Iain Camp­bell said they would love to see Ostberg mak­ing his se­ries de­but.

Camp­bell said: “To have in­ter­est in the BRC from a driver of Mads’ stand­ing is fan­tas­tic. It reaf­firms the stan­dard of driver the se­ries has at­tracted this year and also the level of events within our cal­en­dar.

“Rally Isle of Man fea­tures some of the most three-di­men­sional as­phalt avail­able to rally on: the stages have ev­ery­thing from fast, dou­ble-width roads to nar­row, bumpy, moun­tain­ous sec­tions. Hope­fully we can look for­ward to wel­com­ing Mads to the BRC.”

Nor­we­gian com­peted in the Ca­naries

Ostberg has his own Fi­esta R5

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