Petter Solberg and Jari-Matti Latvala might have scored a Power Stage one-two for the Blue Oval, but it was the podium finishes for semi-works M-Sport drivers Evgeny Novikov and Ott Tanak that caught the eye on the Mediterranean gravel event.
With Solberg and Latvala both failing to go the distance after dropping out on drama-filled Friday, Novikov and Tanak belied their lack of experience to finish second and third respectively in their Fiesta RS WRCs.
“To finish first and second [on the Power Stage] means both gained something from the weekend, and that will help their preparations for Spain. Neither enjoyed a good rally, but our young private drivers took advantage and they really stepped up to the mark here,” said Ford team boss Malcolm Wilson.
Ford Racing senior manager Gerard Quinn added: “It was extremely disappointing to see the early exit of Jari-Matti and Petter from the rally. But it’s positive to see the Fiesta finish in podium positions in the hands of privateer drivers Evgeny Novikov and Ott Tanak. I’m confident this is a glimpse of the future stars of WRC.”