Steep learning curve as Kubica battles on in Sweden

New stages, new conditions and new challenges were the order of the day, but Kubica took them all in his stride.

Steep learning curve as Kubica battles on in Sweden

RK M-Sport World Rally Team’s Robert Kubica and Maciej Szczepaniak continued to build on their knowledge of Rally Sweden’s treacherous stages today. Unfortunately, the snow banks proved less forgiving and they suffered two 10 minute time losses when their Ford Fiesta RS WRC became engulfed in the white barriers.

New stages, new conditions and new challenges were the order of the day, but Kubica took them all in his stride. Getting to grips with the art of winter rallying, the Formula One race winner consistently improved his times throughout the morning to climb into a points-paying position come the midday service break.

Robert Kubica and Maciek Szczepaniak, Ford Fiesta WRC
Robert Kubica and Maciek Szczepaniak, Ford Fiesta WRC

Photo by: M-Sport

Regrettably, his good work was to go unrewarded through the second pass. Drifting wide in the treacherous conditions of both Lesjöfors 2 (SS12) and Rämmen 2 (SS14), his Fiesta fell prey to the snow banks.

Providing another new experience, albeit not an ideal one, the Pole had to twice call upon the assistance of the spectators to dig his Fiesta free.

Determined to the last, no one was going to stand in the way of him improving his skills on snow – not even the snow itself. Making it back to the stages, Kubica is resolute on making his way through all 24 speed tests and will be concentrating on gaining further knowledge and experience during tomorrow’s final day. Robert Kubica (29th) said:

“It was a good day in terms of learning the stages and improving the times in these difficult conditions, unfortunately we have also been very unlucky. On SS12 we were very unfortunate. Coming over a crest there was a sharp corner and we landed slightly off line, the snow banks are so soft that we got dragged in. It was a new experience more than anything else.

“Then on SS14, I think we were driving really nicely until close to the end. I lost the line, touched another bank, and again got pulled in. I have to thank all the fans because without them I think I would still be there – they have done a great job today!”

Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said: “Robert [Kubica] has come to Sweden and encountered what are certainly the worst conditions that I have ever seen. Sadly, he’s learnt the hard way that once you hit the soft snow banks they just pull you in. He’s been very unlucky, but he’s also been fortunate that the spectators have been able to get him back on the stage. The important thing is that he is still here and can still benefit from the experience of every stage.”

RK M-Sport World Rally Team

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