WRC: Kris Meeke retires with engine problems while leading Tour de Corse

Kris Meeke
Dungannon's Kris Meeke had been aiming for back-to-back wins in the World Rally Championship

Kris Meeke has been forced to retire from the lead of the Tour de Course after suffering engine problems.

Meeke was in front by 16.4 seconds from Sebastien Ogier and Thierry Neuville when the problem struck on stage six.

The Citroen driver from Northern Ireland dropped 15.1 seconds to Neuville, who inherited the rally lead.

Meeke, who was aiming for back-to-back World Rally Championship wins after his dramatic success in Rally Mexico, had won three of Friday's four stages.

Meeke took control of the first Asphalt round of the championship in Corsica, to hold a 10.3 second lead over Ogier at the end of day one.

He had extended his lead to 16.4 seconds in the first stage on Saturday, before being hit by the mechanical problems that ruled him out of contention.

M-Sport's Sebastian Ogier is in a comfortable second place behind Hyundai driver Neuville.

This latest retirement is a setback to Meeke's title challenge, with the Dungannon man having a frustrating start to the season, crashing out in Monte Carlo and Sweden before his victory last time out in Mexico.

Meeke's retirement moves team mate Craig Breen up to fourth, with the Waterford driver challenging Spaniard Dani Sordo for the final podium spot.

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