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GP Week : Issue 119
WRC FEATURE >> Jari-Matti Latvala and later Andreas Mikkselsen, who followed on after us. Andreas also did a vast amount of original testing with a WRC before he was old enough to start rallying himself. “Looking back it seems to be a very good thing to start early like that. Obviously there is an economical risk aspect to all this which prevents more drivers doing it, and even if the chance exists it does not make the way forward any easier...” Morten explains he is more than happy the way things are going this year: “As we run under the Stobart team banner we get the first choice of customer upgrade parts as and when they become available, but we do not expect to have the revised engines that Mikko and Jari- Matti use until Finland. Actually, we are never quite sure exactly what M-Sport fit into our car, but there are a lot of important things we do not have. We do not have the facility to change the ride height quickly like the Abu Dhabi cars have, and we do not have the chance to adjust engine mapping during events. But I must say we have the best available customer specification.” The move to Ford has been a major change for the Ostbergs after so many years with Subaru and Prodrive, but really there was not a lot of option, according to Morten: “It was only by chance that Mads is rallying a Fiesta WRC not a Mini. Mads was the first invited driver to test the John Cooper Works car, in its very early days. For us, Mads' career and the work of our company Adapta, were the priorities. Situations regarding the Mini project kept changing. Prodrive's first plan was to have the Mini ready in October 2010. That all looked good. We would have the chance to get used to the car before the season started. “Homologation was then planned for January 2011 and therefore we would have the car available for testing in our winter time and use in Sweden, with the plan for Mads to be part of a Manufacturer championship team under the name of Adapta, but it ended up with homologation being further delayed to the middle of 2011. That was a big problem for us. We had people here at Adapta needing work. “ Taking all these factors into account, the chance to go to M-Sport was the only solution, and that in turn brought a lot of other opportunities for our company as well. We still have very good relations with Prodrive. We are keeping the Subaru World Rally Cars and expect to use them in the new Show Rallies which are being planned in Norway, so I do not think Mads has seen the back of the Subarus just yet. Top Right: Ostberg on his debut run in a Super 2000 Fiesta at Rally Deutschland 2010. Below: Ostberg learns the limits the hard way in Rally Norway 2009. Below Right: Mads with his fiancee Veronica and Father Morten.