Standing eating Martin’s cheese in a farm just outside Kučer was definitely not on Adrien Fourmaux’s Friday morning agenda.
Yet there he was.
Water lying on the road in a fast right-hander off the line on the third stage had caught Fourmaux out and sent his Ford Puma Rally1 Hybrid spearing through Martin’s hedge and into his garden.
Keen to see what a full 530bhp launch looked like from an all-new Rally1 car, Martin had elected to watch from the start. Fourmaux lit the Puma up off the line and sent it towards the first right-hander. Ten seconds later, it went quiet. Too quiet.
“I heard silence,” Martin told DirtFish. “I go fast. I know in a moment something has happened and then I see a surprise in the yard.”
That surprise was a hole in the hedge and Fourmaux’s Puma parked squarely in front of his house.
The immediate reaction?
“We give him cheese,” said Martin. “We are farmers. We have three cows and we make cheese. We give to him.”
Having just pinged his million euro rally car off Martin’s harvesting equipment in his farmyard, Fourmaux might have been concerned at the reception from his unexpected and unexpecting Croatian host. He needn’t have worried.
“They were giving us lots of hospitality,” Fourmaux told DirtFish. “They took us inside to keep warm and gave us something to drink and something to eat. We tried the cheese, it was good.
“I have to say sorry for the hedge…”
Martin smiled. A hole in the hedge was a small price to pay for 15 minutes of WRC fame.
His verdict on a re-arranged front lawn?
“It’s no problem,” he grinned. “People are alive. Everything is not a problem.”