It’s not a sight you see every day, two Rally1 cars parked next to each other straddling a stream.
But there aren’t many days like Friday on Rally Japan has proven to be.
Heavy rain had been forecast and has already delivered the havoc that was expected, with both Dani Sordo and Adrien Fourmaux caught out on the exact same corner of Isegami’s Tunnel – the very first stage of the day – in torrential conditions.
The right-hander in question had already caught out Takamoto Katsuta before, who was running one car ahead of Sordo who, in turn, was one car ahead of Fourmaux in the running order.
Katsuta didn’t escape unscathed with heavy damage to the front of his Toyota, but he was able to get away with just a spin rather than plunging off the road.
But Sordo was less fortunate, locking the brakes of his Hyundai and slipping down a bank.
Fourmaux’s incident was not caught on TV, but the Rally1 returnee suffered exactly the same fate as Sordo and his car came to a rest in an almost identical spot.
By the time DirtFish reached the scene of the accident Sordo had already been picked up by Hyundai and taken back to service, but Fourmaux was there to explain what exactly happened.
“We came from a hairpin right, so a slow corner, then there is an easy left and right after the easy left there is the water line because we had really heavy rain and we just aquaplane under the braking,” Fourmaux told DirtFish.
“It was like ice, I couldn’t expect anything, I had no info etc. I can see now that it’s changing really quickly because 20 minutes ago there were two water lines all over the road and now there is nothing, so it changed really quickly depending on the rain.
“And yeah, Dani tried to slow us down but I didn’t see him in the hairpin. I had some fog on the windscreen and he was on the inside, didn’t see him but right after the corner it wasn’t like I was pushing or whatever, I just wanted to get through because there was fog on the windscreen so OK I want to finish, but when I hit the brakes the car completely slide.”
In essence, there was nothing he could have done in that situation. The positive, if there is one, is Fourmaux should be able to restart on Saturday.
“Well there was no big impact, we have just dropped – that’s it,” he said.
“For Dani it’s a little bit more but they are confident, so I don’t know.
“For us we have to have a look at the car but everything seems OK.”