Sebastien Loeb crashes out of Rally of Portugal on SS3
|Thursday, March 29th 2012, 20:18 GMT|
World Rally Championship leader Sebastien Loeb's chances of victory in Portugal are already over after the Citroen driver went off the road on the second full-length stage.
Loeb's car stopped seven kilometres into the Santa Clara test, with following crews reporting that he had gone a long way off but was unhurt.
Ott Tanak said: "He was warning us on the stage, but we didn't see the car."
Jari Ketomaa, who was next on the road added: "The car was a very long way off the road."
Loeb had ended stage two third behind the Fords of Petter Solberg and Jari-Matti Latvala, as Citroen's plan of running first on the road appeared to backfire.
Other early incidents included Dani Sordo losing the use of all but one headlight on his Mini on SS2 and then pulling out before SS3, and local hero Armindo Araujo dropping five minutes behind when he went off very early on the evening's first stage.