Robert Kubica has blamed himself for the shock final stage crash at Rallye de France - Alsace that cost him fourth place and the best WRC result of his career.
The Pole began the decisive 19km Power Stage with an 11 second lead over Hyundai’s Dani Sordo, but crashed his Fiesta RS close to the start.
Kubica looked set to achieve his pre-rally goal of fourth when he moved ahead of Sordo on Sunday’s opening stage, with fastest time through the Forêt de La Petite Pierre test.
But on the rally’s penultimate stage, the repeat of Forêt de La Petite Pierre, he was lucky to escape a high-speed moment when his car slipped off the road in sixth gear.
He began the Power Stage looking to improve on his morning time, but rolled into a ditch on a right-hand corner 1.8km in.
Kubica said: “I misjudged the grip on a wet part of the stage. On the previous pass I thought I was a bit too cautious there. Unfortunately on the second pass there was a lot of dirt on the Tarmac and I didn't make it.
“I am very sorry because of the chance I have lost this weekend. Gaining experience in a new sport sometimes gets frustrating."
Kubica and his co-driver Maciek Szczepaniak were uninjured in the accident. “We are both fine, the speed was not all that high,” Szczepaniak told wrc.com. "After three days of tough fighting to lose on the last stage is really disappointing. But to win, first you have to be at the finish – and we didn’t make it.
"We put all our efforts into performing well here and after 17 stages we had managed to do that. Unfortunately luck was not with us on the last one.”
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