Robert Kubica’s Monte Carlo Rally is over after engine trouble forced him out of yesterday’s opening prologue stage.
Kubica’s Renault Clio R3 developed a problem while running on the opening 8.83-kilometre stage, which sets the running order for the first full day today. The Pole was retired after mechanics realised they couldn’t repair the engine without breaking its seal.
The Renault F1 driver had taken part in the rally’s opening ceremony, claiming the rally was going to be one of his toughest career challenges to date.
"If the conditions will be like they were on the recce, very changeable, then it will be a very big challenge and one of the biggest challenges of my life to finish the rally," he said yesterday.
Britain’s reigning IRC champion Kris Meeke was fourth fastest on the stage for Peugeot UK despite suffering a puncture. The stage was won by Abarth driver Toni Gardemeister ahead of Skoda pair Nicolas Vouilloz and Jan Kopecky.