Private Ford Fiesta WRC driver Mads Ostberg will start Rally Finland with a new co-driver after he and Ola Floene parted ways for “sporting reasons”.
Floene moved from co-driving Andreas Mikkelsen to work with Ostberg at the start of the 2016 World Rally Championship season, in a three-way co-driver reshuffle in which Mikkelsen, Ostberg and WRC2 driver Pontus Tidemand all changed partners.
He will initially be replaced by a pair of co-drivers, Torstein Eriksen and Patrik Barth, both of whom are contracted to the Ostberg family team Adapta Motorsport, with Eriksen taking the seat for Finland.
Eriksen is part of the M-Sport WRC weather crew, and is also leading the British Rally Championship as a co-driver alongside Fredrik Ahlin in a Skoda Fabia R5. Barth co-drives in Junior BRC for Henning Solberg’s son Oscar.
Team principal Morten Ostberg said: “This is a team decision. We have seen over a period that there have been challenges in the relations between Mads and Ola.
“In the end, we must think about what is best for the team.
“On a high performance level, everything has to run smooth.”
Former Citroen and M-Sport factory driver Ostberg is driving his own 2017-specification Fiesta this season, but has struggled to make the sort of impact he had hoped for.
A brace of seventh places are the highlights of the five WRC rounds he has started so far this season.
Floene will continue to work with Adapta on a separate element of the programme.