World Rally Championship driver Mads Østberg lost a wing on his Ford Fiesta during Rally Sweden at speeds of nearly 124 mph. The sudden loss of downforce was a butt-puckering moment for sure, and made the car a handful to drive. Fortunately, fans found the wing and delivered it back to Østberg’s team.
The new 2017 WRC cars are so aero-dependent that pressing on sans wing made Østberg’s car extremely difficult to handle until he ultimately retired before Stage 8. With no rear wing, the car had much less rear grip. Østberg said that he was driving “flat out in sixth gear” when the failure occurred.
Østberg sent out a note to anyone who might know where the oh-so-vital chunk of his car landed, encouraging them to find it, wherever it may be in the snowy woods of Rally Sweden.
The hunt was on!
Fortunately, one fan came through, saving the wing from the inevitable addition to some fan’s Ka. A Swedish fan who found it handed it over to Østberg’s team at the service park, and all was well.
Østberg rejoined the rally, but the wing was only the beginning of his troubles.