OFF, DOWN AND IN: Ott Tanak lost control of his Ford World Rally car in Mexico and rolled into a lake where the car stayed for 10 hours. Image: Youtube.
GUANAJUATO, Mexico -Estonian World Rally championship driver Ott Tanak and his co-driver have shaken off the effects of ending up in a lake in their Ford and even finished the the Rally of Mexico.
In the same car despite it remaining submerged for 10 hours!
VW Motorsport team driver Sebastien Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia, both French, won the rally.
Tanak's Ford went off the road on Friday (March 6) during a leg of the Guanajuato-based rally, rolled down a steep lake bank then plunged into the water, where it stayed for 10 hours before being hauled out, repaired and restarted the rally.
VIDEO: Watch Tanak take the plunge
M-Sport driver Tanak said after he and co-driver Raigo Moelder, who managed to retrieve his pace notes, had scrambled free: "As soon as we opened the doors the car was gone in just a few seconds. I had a problem with my intercom wire because it didn't come loose and was dragging me under the water.
"We were really lucky."
They sure were: they had to swim ashore while being dragged down by full fireproof race overalls and their crash helmets
The team, after pulling the Ford out of the lake, drained the engine and replaced the gearbox, fuel tank, turbo, electronic components and a number of other parts.
"This is something that we have never seen before," Tanak said.
"The car has been gone all day, submerged at the bottom of a lake, full of water and the team had to do a full rebuild in just three hours."