Stephane Lefebvre tore the suspension off his DS3 on Rally Poland, but that was no trouble for the mechanics
Rally cars are designed to be stripped down and rebuilt as quickly as possible. At World Rally Championship level, mechanics have just 30 minutes to service and repair their car, no matter what state it's in when it arrives.
Abu Dhabi Total World Rally Team driver Stephane Lefebvre made quite a large mess of his Citroen DS3 WRC on Rally Poland last weekend, smacking the rear-left corner into a tree at high speed. But, as the wheel was still just about attached, he was able to limp the car back to service - WRC rules don't allow cars missing wheels to drive on public roads.
As you can see in the video above, a camera operator at the service park was able to film the whole rebuild process which started before Lefebvre had even got out of the car. It takes only a couple of minutes to strip off the damaged parts and within little more than 20 minutes the suspension upright, wishbones, driveshaft, brake, and rear differential cradle have been replaced. Your local service centre would probably take two days to do the same job.
Then it's just a matter of bashing the bodywork back into shape with an enormous sledgehammer, and testing everything works before sending Lefebvre on his way for the next loop of stages. The gathered crowd give the mechanics a well-deserved round of applause.
It's truly fascinating to watch. No-one panics or rushes, they are just focussed on what they have to do, but still help each other out. They're a well-oiled machine.
Lefebvre dropped down to 12th place after the crash, but recovered to ninth by the finish. He had enjoyed a strong run until then, trading times with teammate Craig Breen as they battle for a place in the factory Citroen team in 2017. He'll have to hope setting fastest time on SS15 - the first stage win of his WRC career - will pull focus from the crash.