Ford's Jari-Matti Latvala has said there was no way he could avoid hitting the rock in SS5 that broke the front suspension on his Fiesta RS WRC car and ended any realistic hopes he had of winning Rally Mexico.

Latvala had been in a good scrap with Citroen's Mikko Hirvonen this morning and had edged ahead to be 2.2 seconds in front of his former team-mate post-SS4. However in Ortega 1 disaster struck and he broke the car's front left suspension arm, losing over 90 seconds and dropping to eighth in the classification.

"It happened about 12km into the stage at a sixth gear, blind left curve over a crest," Latvala recalled in service B. "In my pace notes I had a rock marked on the inside so I couldn't cut. I saw another rock next to it that wasn't there during the recce and because I was in sixth gear, there was no chance to avoid it. I tried to steer the car wider, but it was slippery off line so I had to turn in and hit the rock.

"I was unsure what had broken but I was worried that one more impact could mean the end of the rally.

"So I drove cautiously to the end, and then made repairs before we drove to service," he added.