Mads Østberg has parted ways with co-driver Ola Fløene, who had been by his side since switching from Citroën to Ford at the beginning of the 2016 season.
The Norwegian duo’s relationship had become strained in recent months, leading to their divorce for “sporting reasons,” as cited by Adapta Motorsport team principal Morten Østberg.
“This is a team decision,” explained Østberg Sr. “We have seen over a period that there have been challenges in the relation between Mads and Ola. In the end, we must think about what is best for the team. On high performance level, everything has to run smooth.”
No long-term replacement was announced for Østberg’s co-driver seat, instead rotating between two different members of the Adapta team for Finland and Germany.
“While we are working on a permanent solution, Mads will be joined by Adapta Motorsport co-drivers Torstein Eriksen and Patrik Barth for the next rallies, starting with Eriksen in Rally Finland. We know both of them well, and we are certain that they have the experience and skill to perform well and fill the role.”
Østberg Sr indicated this would not be the end of Fløene’s tenure with the family Adapta outfit, having co-driven for the older Østberg in the Norwegian Rally Championship between 1997 and 1999, among other sporadic appearances.
“Ola will still be connected to Adapta Motorsport. We are working together with different plans separated to Mads’ WRC program.”