Despair as ERC1 Junior leader Loubet forced to retire
Team OSCARO’s Pierre-Louis Loubet has lost a potential FIA ERC1 Junior Championship victory on the Azores Rallye, being forced to retire due to a water pump failure.
Loubet had gone third fastest on today’s opening test, Graminhais, only 8.4s off stage winner Łukasz Habaj, but a water pressure issue halted his ŠKODA Fabia R5.
He had attempted roadside repairs with co-driver Vincent Landais at the end of SS11 but ran out of time to fix the problem and was forced retire on the spot.
“It’s just bad luck,” said a dejected Loubet. “I think the performance this morning was not so bad because during the stage, we had a lot of alarms.
“We were a little bit lacking concentration, so the time was not bad as at the end, we tried to go slowly because of everything happening on the dash. It’s like that, unfortunately.
“We were leading ERC1 Junior so it’s good, it would give confidence to win something, but it’s like that.”
Chris Ingram now leads ERC1 Junior in a Toksport WRT 1-2 from Alexandros Tsouloftas, with ARC Sport’s Miguel Correia in third.