Northern Ireland’s Kris Meeke believes he was unlucky to retire from the opening leg of Rally Mexico after a seemingly innocuous incident on SS8.
The Citroen DS3 driver is tackling the Mexican event for the first time this weekend, and was lying fourth when disaster struck in Friday's repeated 15km Las Minas stage.
“The previous stage felt good and I started in a good rhythm,” Meeke told wrc.com. “Everything was coming easy and then, on a narrow second gear corner over a crest, as I went back on the throttle the car stepped out a little bit.
“There was a little impact - I didn’t even see what I hit. Unfortunately something dislodged at the back and the wheel was waving about. We got very close to the finish and the wheel parted company.
“I was a little bit unlucky with what happened in a very, very narrow section. But it only takes a little touch and you can damage something on this rally and as much as I didn’t want to get caught out, I have been.”
With damage limited to the left-hand rear corner, Meeke will rejoin the event on Saturday as a Rally2 entry. “Okay, the road position won't be great, but we’ve seen all the stages today. Our pace was coming. We’ll get out again tomorrow and get some more experience.”