HAVING set the third fastest time on the second stage of Rally Italy in Sardinia, round five of the World Rally Championship, Irish pair Kris Meeke/Paul Nagle retired their MINI WRC on the following test whilst fourth overall.
They bowed out just two kilometres into the 14.34-kilometre Alta Marmilla stage after they felt something wrong braking for a fifth-gear corner. The team are hoping to continue today under Super Rally rules. Meanwhile, team-mate Dani Sordo ended the day in sixth position.
Overnight, Sebastien Loeb (Citroen) led the similar car of Petter Solberg and his Irish co-driver, Chris Patterson, by 33.2 seconds. The Norwegian/Irish duo actually led after the first stage but a turbo boost pipe worked loose on stage two and they lost valuable time. Mikko Hirvonen, who punctured his Fiesta on the penultimate test, is a further 19.9 seconds behind in third with Sebastien Ogier (Citroen) fourth, 2.4 secs behind.
The Irish were also out of luck in the Academy series, Alastair Fisher retired with engine troubles and Craig Breen, who was quickest on the opening pair of stages, retired on S.S. 4, with a broken sump.
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