Citroen's Sebastien Loeb has said a pace-note error was to blame for retirement from day two of Rally Italia Sardegna.

Loeb, who led overnight, went out in the opening test today, when he made a mistake about 5 kilometres into the 29.68 kilometre Monte Lerno test, SS3, and hit some rocks at the outside of a corner. That incident damaged the steering on his Citroen DS3 WRC car and he was unable to continue.

"We went off in the first stage of the morning. We were pushing really, really hard. But it was a little mistake in the notes in a corner," Loeb explained.

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"I entered a bit too fast and so I hit the stone on the exit. It threw the car into a spin and finally we spun on the road.

"I turned around and continued but the steering was very, very hard. I knew something was broken in the steering and a few corners after the steering blocked completely and we had to stop there."

So how did he get the note wrong?

"During recce, we had a puncture on this section and I wasn't concentrating fully on the pace notes, which is why I made this small mistake," he added.

"I would probably have got away with it if I hadn't been pushing so hard. I'm just a bit disappointed to retire, because I was enjoying my driving.

"As there is no longer anything at stake, we have decided not to rejoin tomorrow [Saturday]."