OSTBERG SET FOR BRC DEBUT ON THE MANX
M-sport driver could be headed for IOM to improve asphalt form
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