Estonian rally driver Ott Tänak had a lucky escape on Friday when his car plummeted off a hill into a lake where it submerged in seconds, with Tänak and his co-driver getting out just in time. His team managed to get the car running again for the last stages of the rally.
“I hit the breakes too hard and the car hit the ground, taking off a front wheel. Ahead was a curve which could no longer hold the vehicle on the ground, I lost control and we drove into the lake,” Tänak said.
The video shows the two attempting to stop the car from sinking, but it was completely submerged less than 25 seconds after hitting the water.
Tänak's team was able to pull the car out after 10 hours in the water, and managed to get it up and running in three hours. Tänak had hopes of continuing on Saturday only for his car to die out at the beginning of the day's first stage.
Tänak returned on Sunday for the last three stages, recording the 10th best time on stage 20.
He finished 22nd of 23 competitors. In the overall standings, Tänak and his co-driver Raigo Mõlder are now ninth after three (of 13) rallies.
Editor: J.M. Laats