Ford Abu Dhabi's Mikko Hirvonen has described the incident that put him out of Wales Rally GB today as 'one of those moments' and he has now had to admit defeat in the battle for the 2011 WRC drivers' title.
Hirvonen, who went into this weekend's final round just eight points behind Sebastien Loeb, started strong this morning and moved ahead of the Frenchman in SS6.
However it all went wrong in the next test, when he went off the road and damaged the radiator on his Fiesta RS WRC car. Although he managed to limp to the end of Dyfnant 2, he was unable to get back to service and retired on the road section.
While there is still an outside chance he might restart tomorrow under the SupeRally, the incident in SS7 ends any realistic hopes he might have had of stopping Loeb from taking his eighth crown.
“It was one of those moments you often have in GB,” Hirvonen lamented back in service. “We braked late and slid wide with the rear of the car touching the bank sending the car into a spin.
“There must have been a tree stump that I didn't see in the spin because it broke the radiator and we lost all the water.
“It went down to three cylinders and is dead now. So that is totally the end of the road for us - a year's work finished but we had a good shot at it. We had to try.
“Thanks to the whole team for this year - I just have to look to the future and try again now.
“We will see next week what's going to happen.”