Sainz crash ends title hopes

Carlos Sainz's dream of a third World Rally Championship title were shattered this morning (Friday) when he crashed out of Wales Rally GB two kilometres into the third stage of the event

Sainz crash ends title hopes

Sainz went off on a fifth gear left hander, and was unable to return to the road. But he blames the problems he suffered earlier in the morning, when his in-car camera caught fire, for losing his concentration.

"What happened in the stage was because I wasn't concentrating," said Sainz. "I just didn't hear what Marc [Martin, his co-driver] said. It was a long, long left-hander, that was maybe fifth or sixth and tightened to third. I didn't try to brake or anything, I just went straight on and off the road."

Speaking of his earlier problems, Sainz said: "When I left parc ferme, the car's camera caught fire. I had to stop on the road section to put it out. Then, when I connected the anti-lag just before the start of the first stage, again there was smoke and a fire. I cut a few wires, but as I was putting my helmet back on, Marc was telling me we had to go, because the clock was already running. I was not happy, and we argued, because I just wasn't ready."

Marcus Gronholm has also hit trouble in his Peugeot in the 28km test and lost over 10 minutes as he limped through the majority of the stage. Ford's Mikko Hirvonen went out when he crashed on SS3, the Finn almost rolling his Focus.

After SS3, Sebastien Loeb leads for Citroen by 3.8secs from WRC title rival Petter Solberg (Subaru). Ford's Markko Martin continues to hold third, despite overheating concerns with his Ford, ahead of old stagers Tommi Makinen (Subaru) and Colin McRae (Citroen).

Ford's Francois Duval is already over a minute down on the WRC title protagonists in sixth position.

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