Thursday | 03 Apr 2014

News in brief: Corona FX / Østberg / Sousa

A selection of stories that are making the news at Rally de Portugal

Cheers Hyundai! Top marks to Hyundai’s PR team who are handing out souvenir bottles of Corona to celebrate Thierry Neuville’s lager-fuelled rescue in Mexico. The team’s media hospitality lounge is well stocked with the bottles, labeled ‘cooling fluid for Mexico engines.’

No risk Østberg: Mads Østberg admits he won’t take chances to try to repeat his 2012 victory. “If I’m in a position to fight for a win I will do, but at the moment I’m not willing to take the risks I need to win the rally. But I am willing to take risks to be on the podium,” said the Norwegian, who will try a new driving style and set-up here on his Citroen DS3.

Francois-Xavier ‘FX’ Demaison

FX back at the sharp end: Sebastien Ogier’s Polo R will be run in Portugal by the man who designed it – the team’s chief designer Francois-Xavier ‘FX’ Demaison. De Maison is standing in for Ogier’s usual rally engineer, Gerard de Jongh, who is away on paternity leave.

Sousa washout: WRC 2 driver Bernardo Sousa’s recce car was washed away during Tuesday’s flash floods. “The car slid into a ditch and the back was in a small river, with water covering the rear wheel. Two hours later I called the mechanics to see if they got the car back, but they told me it was gone and they couldn’t find it. They found it 500 metres from the place I stopped!” said the Portuguese pilot.