The rally car plunges into deep water and stays submerged for 10 hours – but both driver and car continue the race the next day.
Footage has emerged of the moment an Estonian racing driver lost control of his car and crashed into a lake at the Rally of Mexico.
The footage filmed inside Ott Tanak’s modified Ford Fiesta shows the vehicle leaving the road on the second day of the Guanajuato-based race, sliding down a deep embankment and into the water.
Tanak and his co-driver Raigo Molder managed to free themselves from their racing belts and escape through the door as water flooded into the vehicle on Friday.
Onlookers watched as the Estonian rally racers swam to safety.
Remarkably, Molder managed to hold on to his racing pacenotes throughout the ordeal, returning them safely to dry land.
The team M-Sport rally car remained anchored by its weight to the reservoir’s bed for 10 hours before being recovered at the end of the day.
Engineers rebuilt the car’s flooded parts, drained the engine and installed a new fuel tank, turbo, gearbox, electronic components and a myriad of other smaller parts.
After three hours of hard work by M-Sport mechanics, the Ford Fiesta sparked back to life and returned to the track in time for day three.
Praising his M-Sport colleagues on their lightning-speed repairs, Tanak said: “This is something that we have never seen before.
“The car has been gone all day, submerged at the bottom of a lake, full of water, and the team had to do a full rebuild in just three hours.”
Source Sky News