Tänak’s engine dies, Loubet crashes on SS3

It was a disastrous stage for M-Sport Ford as both cars retired

WRC – World Rally Championship 2023

Both of M-Sport’s drivers have retired from Rally Finland on SS3 as Ott Tänak parked up with an engine-related failure and Pierre-Louis Loubet crashed.

Tänak came into Friday as rally leader having won Thursday’s sole stage, but he immediately relinquished his advantage to Kalle Rovanperä once they headed into the forests.

And he was unable to bounce back on Lankamaa, as only a few miles in he had to switch his car into EV mode, and eventually he pulled off onto a side road and pulled up.

While he was navigating a cloud of grey smoke emerged from his engine bay, his team-mate Pierre-Louis Loubet only got a mile in before he drifted wide, struck a bank and ripped the rear-left wheel off.

Tänak also suffered engine trouble in Estonia, starting the rally with a five-minute penalty after the unit was changed following shakedown.

World champion Rovanperä leads the rally by 2.2 seconds over team-mate Elfyn Evans, wtih Thierry Neuville in third.