Andreas Mikkelsen was unlucky to have to retire from third position on Rally Argentina on Friday, with a faulty alternator belt forcing him out in the final test of the day.

Mikkelsen had been running strongly and had been third fastest in every single test, lying 19.9 seconds of team-mate, Jari-Matti Latvala, when he had to park his Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC just a few kilometres from the end of SS5.

He will now re-start on Saturday in seventh, having picked up a 5 minute penalty for failing to complete the 51.88 km Ascochinga-Agua de Oro 2 test.

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"I am obviously disappointed," said the Norwegian. "I was really comfortable in the car and with my pace notes, and we had a good rhythm. We did not risk too much, but were still quick."

"We were right up there with the front-runners from the word go and were involved in a good battle for the top positions with our team-mates [Latvala and Sebastien Ogier]. Unfortunately the belt on the alternator came free just a few kilometres from the end of the final stage of the day," he continued.

"You can see from the results that the Polo R WRC is the car to beat here in Argentina.

"Unfortunately we were just unlucky."