Kris Meeke: Crash ends Rally Monte Carlo hopes

Kris Meeke
Kris Meeke had made a promising start to Rally Monte Carlo

Northern Ireland's Kris Meeke is out of contention in the opening round of the World Rally Championship after crashing on stage four of Rally Monte Carlo.

Meeke, 37, went off the road, breaking his right-rear suspension, which put him out of action on Friday.

The Citroen driver was running in second place before the accident, which was caused after he slid on an icy patch of road and hit a bank.

The rally has been marred by the death of a spectator during the first stage.

The spectator was fatally injured after Hyundai driver Hayden Paddon crashed on the first stage.

New regulations were introduced for 2017 World Rally Championship, with the new cars having more power and better aerodynamics.

It has been a disappointing start for Citroen, as Stephane Lefebvre stopped in stage two after clutch issue.

However, Waterford driver Craig Breen has been impressive for the French team driving a 2016-spec Citroen.

Breen is running in fifth place after stage seven, with the winter conditions limiting the performance difference between the two generations of cars.

Belgian driver Thierry Neuville is currently in the lead, with Ford drivers Sebastian Ogier and Ott Tanak chasing the Hyundai driver down.

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