On a stage running alongside a reservoir, Ott Tänak turned a little too late into a slight left-hand bend.
The Fiesta tumbled head-first into the water and quickly sunk with its crew still inside. Tänak and co-driver Raigo Mölder immediately undid their belts, took deep breaths and swam to the surface.
Several hours later, an M-Sport service crew was able to fish the Ford out of the lake after which the mechanics dried out the chassis for three hours and finally placed a completely overhauled car into the parc fermé.
Ott Tanak Crash - Rally Guanajuato México 2015
In the morning, the car would not start which implied another retirement according to Super Rally regulations. Instead, there was just another mass of penalties, but the team got the car going ready for the last day.
On Sunday, Titänak was almost two hours behind and lay twenty-second overall, but the Ford did make it across the finish line. Wearing diving goggles, Tänak and Mölder waved cheerfully from the ramp, thus celebrating one of the most remarkable and unlikely rally finishes of all time.
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Sections of this story are excerpts from 'WRC 50, The Story of the World Rally Championship 1973-2022', written by Markus Stier. Purchase your copy here.
Cover Photo: © McKlein