Citroen number one driver Sebastien Loeb has had to retire from Rally de Portugal, the fourth round in the 2012 World Rally Championship.

Loeb, who had been third quickest in SS2, the first 'proper' test of the event, went off the road around mid-way through SS3, the 14.29 km Santa Clara test. Loeb and co-driver Daniel Elena both escaped unharmed, although their DS3 WRC suffered heavy damage.

"They went off when the road turned on the top [on a crest], the road turned to the right and Sebastien turned to the left," Citroen team principal, Yves Matton told the official WRC site. "The pace note was good, but he didn't follow the indication, just before the top the road was going a little bit to the left and we think he was looking more to the road and he didn't follow the note. Sebastien said the impact was not heavy.

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"We don't know how many times the car rolled, but [it was] enough to make sure it won't [re-]start tomorrow.

"The cage was damaged on the top. Sometimes this can happen if the first roll is heavy, but we don't know. Anyway, the cage is bent. We still have one car [left] and we try to take maximum points with Mikko [Hirvonen] and try to be leading at the end of the rally."