(Reuters) - Estonian driver Ott Tanak was back in the Rally of Mexico on Saturday after his submerged Ford was fished out of a reservoir and rebuilt overnight.
Tanak’s car rolled down a steep embankment and plunged into deep water on Friday’s second leg of the Guanajuato-based rally, remaining sunk for 10 hours.
“As soon as we opened the doors the car was gone in just a few seconds,” the M-Sport driver had said after he and co-driver Raigo Moelder, who managed to retrieve his pace notes, had scrambled free.
“I also had a problem with my intercom wire because it didn’t come loose and was dragging me under the water. We were really lucky.”
After finally pulling the car out, M-Sport drained the engine and replaced the gearbox, fuel tank, turbo, electronic components and a host of other parts.
“This is something that we have never seen before,” Tanak said.
“The car has been gone all day, submerged at the bottom of a lake, full of water, and the team had to do a full rebuild in just three hours.”
French world champion Sebastien Ogier led the rally for Volkswagen after the second leg.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ed Osmond