Thursday | 11 Dec 2014

2014 Highlights: Kruuda’s Spanish nosedive

Throughout December on wrc.com we are presenting our WRC highlights of 2014. Seventh in our countdown is Karl Kruuda’s dramatic take-off and landing at RallyRACC-Rally de Espana.

Kruuda, from Estonia, was leading the WRC2 category when his Ford Fiesta Super 2000 slammed into a drainage channel and ricocheted into the air.

“After an asphalt section I was coming up to a small concrete ditch culvert, I think in fifth gear,” explained Kruuda. “I just hit it too fast I guess: the rear of the car kicked up and we went sliding down the road on its nose.”

With all four wheels off the ground, the 21-year-old’s attempts to steer around the next corner were futile and the car ploughed off the road and into a ditch.

But Kruuda did not give up. Having retired from his two previous attempts at the rally, he was determined to keep going this time. Twenty-one minutes of pulling later Kruuda was underway again in the battered Fiesta.

“It took so long to get the car back on the road; it definitely would have been better if more people had come to help us, but it was a complicated situation,” he said. “I was yelling quite a lot, I must say. There was no way in hell I was going to retire three times in a row!”

The incident was captured from a safe distance by a WRC television crew and made the finals of the 2014 FIA Action of the Year awards. You can watch it - and a few near-misses at the same location - in the video below.

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