The latest driver to lay claim to an event win in the FIA World Rally Championship, Mads Ostberg, will join the MML Sports team on next month’s Rally Talsi, the third round of the Latvia Rally Championship.
The charismatic Norwegian claimed a well-deserved second place on last month’s Vodafone Rally de Portugal amid dreadful weather conditions. However, he was handed the overall win at the last minute, when Citroen’s Mikko Hirvonen was excluded from the event for a technical infringement on his car.
In doing so, Ostberg became only the second genuine privateer to take an outright event win in the history of the modern WRC. Ostberg is also the reigning Norwegian Rally Champion, making his entry in the ‘Rally of Champions’ even more relevant.
Ostberg will be driving a Group N Lancer EvolutionX which will be run on the event by the MML Sports team. The car will be prepared locally in Latvia ahead of the event by one of MML Sports’ customers and Ostberg will get a chance to test prior to the event shakedown.
In addition to Ostberg, MML Sports will also be running long-time Latvian favourite Raimonds Kisiels in his usual Mitsubishi Lancer WRC and Russian driver and another MML Sports regular, Alexander Novoselov in a second Group N EvoX.
Commenting, MML Sports Managing Director John Easton said; “I’m very excited about having Mads in one of our cars. He is clearly a very quick driver, as he has demonstrated on numerous WRC events and it was only a matter of time before he took his maiden event win.
“Rally Talsi is always a superb event – the first genuine gravel rally of the Latvian series following the two winter rounds and with something like five national champions entered this year, it’s going to be a very competitive event.
“It’s also an event we know very well – we debuted the Group N EvoX there with Guy Wilks at the wheel, then the R4 EvoX with Jari Ketomaa and showed excellent pace on both occasions. So we’re hopeful that Mads will be able to use his experience and put the pressure on the locals.
“We are also very keen to see Raimonds back out in the Lancer WRC as his performances are improving all the time and it will also be very good to welcome Alexander back into the team for his first outing with us this year.”