Volkswagen's Andreas Mikkelsen admits his pursuit of greater speed led to the crash in Spain today that forced him out of the rally and ended his challenge for this year's WRC drivers' title.
The Norwegian was defending third place from Thierry Neuville [above left] when he slammed his Polo R into an Armco barrier, 2.5km into the afternoon's first stage - Alcover – Capafonts - sending the car rolling down the road.
"In the morning I was a bit too careful in the right-hand corners so I thought I would push a little bit harder. But I forgot about [this] one corner which I took quite okay in the morning," Mikkelsen told wrc.com.
"I pushed a bit too hard, we touched the Armco on the outside and it flipped us around. It's pretty lucky that we are in one piece."
Mikkelsen and co-driver Anders Jaeger were uninjured in the crash, but their car was too badly damaged to be repaired for a Rally 2 restart on Sunday.
Mikkelsen started RallyRACC Catalunya - Rally de España as Ogier's closest rival for the drivers' title, but his retirement today drops him instead into the fight with Neuville for the runner-up spot.
"Okay, my title hope is over, but still the fight is on for second in the championship," he explained. "I had a 15-point buffer to Thierry before this rally. Of course we will be very equal now, or he will be a little bit in front, so it really brings things down to the wire in Wales and Australia."