Citroen driver Mikko Hirvonen was left puzzled after a mystery puncture in the final stage on Rally Australia cost him second place.

Hirvonen had moved up into P2 on Friday afternoon and going into the final leg had a comfortable 25.5 seconds in hand over Thierry Neuville in third place, a margin he increased to 31.1 seconds when he was quickest in Bucca 1, the opening test of the day and the only test not won by VW.

However in the event ending Power Stage it all went wrong for the Finn, when halfway through he had to slow due to a suspected tyre failure. He lost almost a minute as a result, dropping him from second to third.

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"It's just unbelievable," said Hirvonen after the tenth round in the 2013 World Rally Championship. "I wasn't taking any risks, because the bonus points from the Power Stage don't count towards the Manufacturers' standings. I was driving in the middle of the road, without pushing. I really cannot say where the puncture came from, especially as the tyre blew up on a long straight section.

"It's really disappointing. It was quite a good weekend until that point - we were comfortable in second. These things happen, but this year it's really often [that we have misfortune]. It's been a long year so far.

"I can't seem to shake off my run of bad luck."

Hirvonen's co-driver, Jarmo Lehtinen was equally despondent: "We are not here for second place, but we have not lost second like this [before]. When you don't know [what happened], it is frustrating," he added.

"It's so much easier when you hit the wall or something goes wrong with the car. But when you have this, it's so annoying..."