Loubet forced to retire from Croatia after SS2

Several punctures left Loubet without the required tires to continue competing


Pierre-Louis Loubet has retired from the first day of Croatia Rally after picking up three punctures across the first two stages of the day.

Loubet, starting his first rally for M-Sport Ford, was 19th fastest on the first stage having clipped something on the inside of a corner and deflated the front-right tire on his Puma Rally1.

He was then slowed further by a second puncture at the front of the car later on the stage and dropped 1m40.7s to stage winner Kalle Rovanperä.

Heading onto SS2 with no fresh spare tires in the trunk, Loubet then lost another 3m43.5s on the stage and parked up a few miles from the end of Stojdraga – Gornja Vas 1 with a third puncture, another front-right delamination, forcing him to stop with not enough fully rotating tires to fit to his car.

“This morning we had a double puncture in the first stage, unfortauntely it’s a bit s***,” Loubet told DirtFish.

“The pace was there but we hit something on the front-right, I think it was the same corner as [Esapekka] Lappi [who retired with suspension damage] but for the left I have no idea.

“It’s like this. We didn’t push, we stayed safe but we hit something and after that it was a slow puncture.”

The encouraging thing for Loubet at least was that he was happy with how his car had performed in his first rally with it.

“The car was really great in the first stages so I was feeling confident,” he said.

“It’s nothing [in terms of damage it’s] just a puncture, so we’ll be back tomorrow