The IRC's Spanish round at Rally Principe de Asturias turned out to be a big dissapointment for Flying Finn Toni Gardemeister as he and co-driver Tomi Tuominen suffered brake failure and dropped into a deep ditch during the pneultimate stage of final day.
When the retirement
occurred, Gardemeister was in ninth position overall at the wheel of his under-development Opel Corsa S2000.
"A few corners before the incident I felt our brake pedal start to go soft," Gardemeister explained. "Just before the off I told my co-driver that we needed to finish the stage with caution. Then suddenly the brake pedal hit the floor and there wasn't nothing I could do about it.
"I was able to turn the backside of my car so that it hit a fence first. However the fence didn't last and we dropped into a deep ditch," he added.
The team arrived in Spain prepared to focus on test work rather than overall standings, as last weekend's race was just the third for the Opel Corsa Super 2000.
"Our team was satisfied with the information we provided for them," Gardemeister reported. "There are still lots of issues to work with, as well as with the Hankook tyres. But this is why we were here doing our work.
Opel is aiming for a full Intercontinental Rally Challenge season next year.
"The project is very interesting and we really hope it will continue with us," Gardemeister said.