Prokop threatens WRC exit over Italy penalty

WRC privateer Martin Prokop was left fuming after a five-minute time penalty, which put him out of contention before the start of Rally Italia Sardegna.

Prokop threatens WRC exit over Italy penalty
Martin Prokop, Jan Tomanek, Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Martin Prokop, Jan Tomanek, Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Martin Prokop, Jan Tomanek, Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Martin Prokop, Jan Tomanek, Ford Fiesta RS WRC

A long-time WRC participant, Prokop made his debut in a top-tier car in 2011 and has been a regular ever since.

Having entered the Dakar for the first time this year, he had a shorter campaign planned this season and Italy was only his third appearance.

Prokop's chance to deliver a strong result became highly unlikely even before the first stage as he received a five-minute penalty for breaking the seal of his car's transmission.

"Thanks to the stewards for the five-minute penalty. I'm really angry about this. I have completely lost my motivation," said Prokop after SS1.

According to the WRC Sporting Regulations, if the seals of the engine are found to be destroyed without the written approval of the FIA Technical delegate, a five-minute penalty will be imposed by the stewards at the next rally.

Prokop was only 23rd after Saturday but managed to fight his way back up to 11th by the end of the rally, missing out on the points by half a minute.

"My favourite rally of the year but from the beginning we struggled with the penalty decision," summarised Prokop after the Power Stage.

"I will leave the championship now. I'm not happy with this situation. I don't know when I will come back."

Apart from Dakar and a part-time WRC campaign, Prokop has also been in endurance racing, including the Mugello 12 hours alongside Robert Kubica.

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