Dumas, who is making his debut in the FIA World Rally Championship in a MINI John Cooper Works WRC, hit trouble five kilometres into stage nine and need the intervention of spectators to get him back onto all four wheels.
“It was on a right corner,” said Dumas. “The road was damp, I didn’t see and I carried too much speed, spun and went up onto a bank. It was my fault but thankfully the spectators were there to put me back on my wheels.”
Dumas completed the 17.08-kilometre stage with a punctured rear tyre, which he picked up 10 kilometres from the end of the run. He lost more time in the afternoon when he selected soft compound tyres in the mistaken belief that it would rain.
“On Friday, at the end, when I was 1.6 or 1.5 [second per kilometre] off the pace of the guys at the front, I was starting to like it,” Dumas continued. “But today, you have to be so precise and already, we are far from being precise.”
Multiple World Touring Car champion Yvan Muller, who is starting his home event for a third time, is 15th overnight in his similar MINI following a spin on stage 10. “It's been really hard,” said Muller. “But the car is good - it’s better than me!”