Ott Tanak and co-driver Raigo Molder escaped unhurt when their Ford Fiesta RS
rally car crashed into a lake at Rally Mexico.
The Estonian pair rolled off the road after their front-right suspension broke, just under two miles into the Los Mexicanos stage on the Friday morning.
"I braked too hard into a compression which damaged the front-right suspension. We couldn't steer the car around the next left-hand corner and went off the edge of the road. The drop was so steep that we rolled into the water," explained Ott Tanak.
"Luckily the car landed on its wheels but the water was so deep that the car sank really fast. As soon as we opened the doors the car was gone in just a few seconds. I also had a problem with my intercom wire because it didn't come loose and was dragging me under the water. We were really lucky. It was not a nice moment to have.
"After that there was no chance to contact the team. The radio was gone and there was very little phone signal where we were. No one back at the team knew what had happened to us for almost 20 minutes and that - as you can imagine - was a big concern for everyone back in the service park."
Ott Tanak's M-Sport ream repaired the car after it spent 9 hours underwater and were planning to return to the rally on Saturday. However, on their way to the first stage, the Fiesta RS stopped due to moisture in the engine coil.
"We really want to get the boys out again," said M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson.
"It's so disappointing after we had it running for half an hour last night, all the sensors were working and everything was looking good.
"It's very difficult to get all the moisture out of the coil area. We'll have more time to look at it now, we can change the wiring loom and a few more parts."
The team will now try to prepare the car for Sunday.