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