Ost­berg set to get WRC Fi­esta, but knows he faces Swedish test

Motor Sport News - - Rally News -

Mads Ost­berg will take de­liv­ery of his 2017 Ford Fi­esta WRC this week, and the Nor­we­gian says he faces the big­gest chal­lenge of his ca­reer to get on the pace in time for next week’s Rally Swe­den.

Ost­berg’s own me­chan­ics are work­ing with M-sport to fin­ish the car in time for a first snow test in Nor­way on Fri­day. The 29-yearold has driven the test Ford twice on gravel, but admits he’s short on mileage as he chases a sixth Swedish podium in seven years.

“This is a very big chal­lenge for me and for the team,” he told MN. “Ev­ery­thing is a bit stress­ful as we try to get things sorted out. If it all works, we should get some time with the car this week­end, but that’s not go­ing to give me any­thing like the kind of ex­pe­ri­ence the oth­ers have had with these cars over the last six months or so.”

Ost­berg will join forces with Martin Prokop this sea­son to run their own team – some­thing one­time world rally win­ner Ost­berg had been plan­ning for some time.

“I’m re­ally ex­cited to be back work­ing with my own guys,” he said. “This is what we wanted. The plan is to be run­ning two 2017 Fi­es­tas be­fore too long. It’s go­ing to be an ex­cit­ing year, but like I said, it’s a big step up for Swe­den with so lit­tle time in the car. The plan is to push for a podium, I’ve had quite good re­sults there in the last few years.”

Ost­berg’s Fi­esta will be the first pri­vate 2017 World Rally Car run this sea­son – and it’s likely to be the last for a few months, with still no sign of agree­ment on the de­layed ho­molo­ga­tion of Volkswagen’s Polo R WRC.

While he couldn’t drive his 2017 Fi­esta, Ost­berg did man­age a sixth Finnskog Rally win in his team’s Fi­esta R5 on Satur­day.

“That helped,” he said. “The roads are ob­vi­ously sim­i­lar to the ones we are us­ing on the day in Nor­way and it was nice to take a sixth win in Finnskog.”

Ost­berg: up against it

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