WRC: Tanak and Molder unhurt after crashing into reservoir at Rally Mexico (VIDEO)

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Ott Tanak and Raigo Molder were lucky to walk away unhurt from a terrifying crash that saw the Ford M-Sport drivers plunge into a reservoir on the second day of Rally Mexico.

Coming through the first stage of the day, Tanak suffered suspension damage that prevented him from turning left, causing the car to career down a steep bank and into a reservoir.

The car soon began to fill with water, but both Tanak and Molder were able to escape in just ten seconds and swim to safety. Within 25, the car had sunk.

“If you are in a lake, close to the limit of your life and fighting for it, when you finally win that fight it’s an amazing feeling,” Tanak explained to wrc.com.

“I opened the seat belts and immediately after opening the door, the car filled with water. Then it went down in a short time.

“It was a bit scary when I got out the car. The intercom wire was still fixed and it was difficult to unplug, so it was dragging me under the water. That was a **** feeling but luckily I had enough force to unplug it. A few seconds later the car was gone.”

Remarkably though, the M-Sport team was able to recover the car – nicknamed the “Titanak” – from the lake and repair it, meaning that the drivers will be able to resume the rally on Saturday.

“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!

“It was a crazy challenge, but I knew the M-Sport guys would be up for it. I have massive respect for my team. This was a huge task to do, but they have worked as hard as they always do and I am so grateful to each and every one of them.

“To get back out on the stages tomorrow is very important for me and Raigo. We need to rebuild our confidence and get back behind the wheel, and my team have made that happen this evening.”

Zach Veach splits with Andretti Autosport for rest of IndyCar season

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Zach Veach will be leaving his Andretti Autosport ride with three races remaining in the season, choosing to explore options after the decision was made he wouldn’t return for 2021.

In a Wednesday release, Andretti Autosport said a replacement driver for the No. 26 Dallara-Honda would be named in the coming days. The NTT IndyCar Series will race Oct. 2-3 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and then conclude the season Oct. 25 on the streets of St. Petersburg, Florida.

Veach was ranked 11th in the points standings through 11 races of his third season with Andretti. Since a fourth in the June 6 season opener at Texas Motor Speedway, he hadn’t finished higher than 14th.

“The decision was made that I will not be returning in 2021 with Andretti Autosport in the No. 26 Gainbridge car,” Veach said in the Andretti release. “This, along with knowing that limited testing exists for teams due to COVID, have led me to the decision to step out of the car for the remainder of the 2020 IndyCar season. I am doing this to allow the team to have time with other drivers as they prepare for 2021, and so that I can also explore my own 2021 options.

“This is the hardest decision I have ever made, but to me, racing is about family, and it is my belief that you take care of your family. Andretti Autosport is my family and I feel this is what is best to help us all reach the next step. I will forever be grateful to Michael and the team for all of their support over the years. I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for a relationship that started many years ago with Road to Indy. I will also be forever grateful to Dan Towriss for his friendship and for the opportunity he and Gainbridge have given me.

“My love for this sport and the people involved is unmeasurable, and I look forward to continuing to be amongst the racing world and fans in 2021.”

Said team owner Michael Andretti: “We first welcomed Zach to the Andretti team back in his USF2000 days and have enjoyed watching him grow and evolve as a racer, and a person. His decision to allow us to use the last few races to explore our 2021 options shows the measure of his character.

“Zach has always placed team and family first, and we’re very happy to have had him as part of ours for so many years. We wish him the best in whatever 2021 may bring and will always consider him a friend.”

Andretti fields five full-time cars for Veach, Alexander Rossi, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Marco Andretti and Colton Herta.

It also has fielded James Hinchcliffe in three races this season.