M-Sport's Elfyn Evans has retired from day one of Rally de Espana after going off the road in the penultimate test of the leg.

Evans finished the opening loop this morning in ninth place, but then made a mistake in SS5 and lost about a minute with a puncture. The Welshman's woes weren't over, however, and he ran wide again in SS6 and this time was not able to continue as his Fiesta RS WRC car suffered radiator damage.

M-Sport later confirmed he will be able to re-start on Saturday under Rally 2, when the event switches from mainly gravel roads to asphalt for the final two full days.

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"This definitely doesn't seem to be one of the luckiest events for me and we've not had the best of days today," Elfyn said back in service. "We had reasonable pace, but have made a few big mistakes.

"The last one [5 kilometres from the end of SS6] was enough to finish the day for us but fortunately the car doesn't look too badly damaged.

"There's no reason why we won't be able to put this behind us and start a fresh tomorrow.

"We're coming off the back of two very strong performances on asphalt, so we just need to reset and see what we can do."