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Despair as ERC1 Junior leader Loubet forced to retire

2019-03-23T14:33:15+01:00March 23rd, 2019|2019, Azores Rallye|

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.