Francois Delecour will re-start on Rallye de France under Rally 2 on Sunday after he had to retire due to radiator damage in SS11.

The four-time world rally winner, who is competing on his home event at the wheel of the Tuthill Porsche 911 RGT, clipped a chicane mid-way through the second run of the 18.90-kilometre Vallee de Munster test.

The incident caused a water leak and the 52-year-old had to stop as a result. He had been running 22nd overall.

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"The mistake was a simple one," Delecour admitted. "I was braking from sixth gear into a chicane and I just braked too late. I got through the first part of the chicane, but then we clipped the second part with the front. I was worried for the radiator, so we stopped and we saw we lost some water. This is more than disappointing."

"I had a good feeling with the car through the morning," continued the 52-year-old. "We had just taken time from Romain [Dumas, the other R-GT runner] on the stage before service and we were looking forward to a good battle through the afternoon.

"I thought I would remember more of these stages from when I came here maybe 10 years ago. I remember some small sections of the road this morning, but not so much. When we come to a new stage for this year, then I was able to take time from him. He has competed here for the last two years, maybe that experience counts?

"Anyway, this is a big disappointment for me and for the Tuthill team. I am really sorry for what happened. We have all worked hard to get here."

Richard Tuthill added: "It's such a shame. Francois has driven very, very well and appears to have a paid a big price for a really small mistake. It's tough for him, Dominique [Savignoni - co-driver] and the team.

"Everything was going well and we were looking forward to taking the challenge to Romain Dumas through the afternoon. These things happen. We're really keen to see the car back out and that's the plan."