Rally Spain: Toyota's Kris Meeke crashes out of third spot in Spain

Kris Meeke
Kris Meeke won Rally Spain in 2017, the last of his five WRC wins to date

Northern Ireland's Kris Meeke crashed out of third place in Saturday's second stage at Rally Spain.

Meeke ran wide in his Toyota and clipped a barrier, tearing the right-rear wheel off his Yaris.

He had moved up to third after setting the second fastest time on Saturday's opening stage before his accident.

Hyundai's Thierry Neuville leads the rally and Toyota's Ott Tanak remains on course to win his first World Rally Championship title in fourth.

A series of high-profile crashes led Citroen to drop Meeke from their WRC team last year although he secured a drive with Toyota for 2019.

Meeke has had a more consistent campaign in 2019 as he lay in fifth place in the championship going into this week's event although he did crash out late on the final stage of Rally Portugal in June when in third spot.

His championship rival Sebastien Ogier remains four minutes off the lead after power steering issues in his Citroen on Friday.

It's currently a Hyundai 1-2-3 as Neuville leads team-mates Sebastien Loeb and Dani Sordo by 20 seconds.

"I knew that I had to put it on the line as Rally Catalunya moved from gravel to asphalt this morning," said Meeke after crashing out.

"Seb Marshall and I had to try to do something about Hyundai, because they were one-two-three overnight.

"It looked promising after the opening stage of the day - but ultimately a small mistake has cost us very dearly and I'm back here in service for the rest of the day.

"I'm annoyed, frustrated and gutted for the team. It would have been nice to have been in the thick of that fight, but unfortunately it wasn't to be."

Meeke will restart Sunday's final four stages in Catalunya.

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