WRC: Kris Meeke crashes out of Rally Sardinia

Kris Meeke has struggled to complete rounds of the WRC this season
Kris Meeke has struggled to complete rounds of the WRC this season

Kris Meeke's disappointing start to the World Rally Championship season has continued after he crashed out of the Rally Sardinia when leading.

The Dungannon driver held a lead of 0.8 seconds before rolling out of the halfway mark of SS5.

Meeke was forced to retire from the day's action after damaging his Citroen's roll cage in the incident.

"The road was rough and I touched the right rear on a bank and that spat the car over onto its roof," said Meeke.

"Everything felt good, I wasn't focused on a target, just settling. It's not good enough at the moment," he told the WRC website.

Hyundai's Hayden Paddon inherited the lead as a result of Meeke's crash.

Meeke took the lead of the rally on SS2, the first real test of the event after a short arena stage on Thursday evening.

Regained top spot

He briefly lost the lead to Toyota's Juho Hänninen on the third stage of the rally, retaking the lead from the Finn on the following stage.

The Northenrn Irishman clipped a bank on the final stage before midday service, rolling and limping to the end of the stage before being forced to retire from Friday's running.

Meeke's season has been blighted by incidents. The 37-year-old crashed out in Monte Carlo and Sweden before taking a famous victory in Mexico.

However, an engine problem forced him to retire from the lead in Corsica before he rolled twice in Argentina and crashed out again in the last round in Portugal.

Citreon team mate Craig Breen has also been forced to retire from the rally, with the gearbox on the Waterford driver's C3 began leaking oil after a heavy landing.

Paddon helds a 4.3 second lead over Hänninen, with M-Sport's Mads Otstberg holding an early third.

Welshman Elfyn Evans also hit trouble in the same stage as Meeke, breaking his right-front suspension.

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