Mads Ostberg saw his impressive start to the WRC season come to an end after a troubled weekend in Portugal saw him fail to score for the time this season.
The M-Sport Stobart Ford driver went into the third round of the season on the back of a stunning podium finish in Sweden and a solid points finish in Mexico, with his hopes high that he could make it a hat-trick of points finishes at the wheel of his Fiesta RS WRC.
However, things didn't start well when he ripped a wheel from his car on the Thursday evening Super Special stage in Lisbon, with the loose wheel hitting a spectator in the crowd. They were taken to hospital for precautionary checks but later released with no reported injuries.
Gearbox failure shortly after the start of the opening stage on Friday forced Ostberg to retire from the day and he was then forced to retire from day two after suffering power steering problems on the Fiesta.
While he returned to action on the final day and was second quickest on stage 16, he was left down in 31st place and outside the points for the first time this year.
“It's been one trouble after another this weekend but today has been going much better,” he said at the finish. “We seem to have a set-up that works very well on the car and we are trying to improve our speed all the time.
“At the next event, we want to battle with the factory drivers and we will be ready for it. I have been using today like an extended test - to try and get rid of all the troubles and to find the perfect set-up. But I wanted to give it a try on the Power Stage this afternoon so for that stage I wanted to push to try and extra points – we had nothing to lose really and I think our times are getting closer to the top drivers so I have to be happy with that.”