Stobart Ford borrowed a window from a road-going Ford Focus to enable Matthew Wilson to maintain sixth overall on the Rally New Zealand today.
Wilson lost his side window on the third stage this morning, forcing the Cumbrian to drive the remainder of the Bull test and all of the following Cassidy stage with dust pouring into the car. With only a remote service following the morning's four stages, Wilson thought he would have to drive the afternoon with the same problem until the team persuaded the owner of a Focus to part with the window.
Under normal remote service regulations, the team would only be allowed to change what the crew had carried in the car, but an exception was made on safety grounds.
"It's a big relief," said Wilson. "I think the glass came out of a four-door Focus, it doesn't quite fit, but we've got some tape up the side and it's a heck of a lot better than it was earlier!"
Wilson admitted he had no idea why the glass had broken, but he was disappointed, given that he had set the second fastest time on the previous stage.
"We'd made a really good start this morning," he said. "But the window shattered and then dropped down into the door. I don't know why it happened, we hadn't hit anything or gone through a compression or anything like that - it was a really straight stretch of road.
"It was quite distracting, there were shards of glass coming into the car and plenty of dust. The dust was worst when we were braking, there were dust clouds billowing into the car."
The Ford team is no stranger to borrowing parts from road cars. Ari Vatanen's 1976 Scottish Rally assault was famously resurrected when a spectator was persuaded to part with the rear differential from their three-liter Ford Capri to keep the Finn's Escort Mk II on the road.