Kris Meeke was making good progress in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge opener in Monte Carlo until the massive accident that took him out of fourth place.
Thankfully he escaped without injury, and was able to recount the incident to autosport.com.
Q. How big was the accident?
Kris Meeke: It was big. The accident went on forever, it was definitely one of my biggest.
Q. How's the car?
KM: I called the team manager straight after and told him we'd had a massive accident, but looking at it, I don't think the car's that bad. Okay, the wheels are a little bit all over the place, but that's broken suspension arms. The roof wasn't touched and I think the engine will be good as well.
It felt like a massive accident, and it was, but it all happened in the air and then the car landed on its wheels.
Q. What actually happened?
KM: Off the start there was a long straight into a really quick corner. We were running a wide open tyre with studs. I thought the tyre would clear all the slush away. Where the cars had been before us, there was two tracks through all of the slush.
At the end of the straight there was a slight right corner, but it was nothing. Normally I wouldn't have even lifted. But I went down to fifth gear and turned the wheel.
As usual the car rolled as the studs didn't grip on the asphalt, but then it touched the slush and bang, away we went. And I mean bang, lights out. Straight off the road. I've never known anything like it. I'd put it down to my inexperience in these conditions. I didn't appreciate how viciously you could aquaplane.
Q. This wasn't the start you wanted was it?
KM: No. This was a monster of a rally. I wasn't racing on this stage, it was my inexperience. I expected one of the top drivers to make a mistake which would have given me the podium we were looking for.
You know, the last thing I said to Paul [Nagle, co-driver] before we went off the startline was that we had to get through this stage, it was about survival to make it into the final night. We're doing nine rallies and the seven best count, we have to put this one behind us and start again in Brazil.