Volkswagen's Jari-Matti Latvala says he missed a braking point this morning on Wales Rally GB and that was why he ended up in a ditch.

Latvala was on a mission to cut the 6.6 second deficit to team-mate and overnight leader, Sebastien Ogier, but it all went wrong right at the start of the second leg, when he skidded off the road near the end of the Clocaenog East 1 test, SS9.

He lost over 3 minutes in that incident and dropped from P2 to tenth, before fighting back this afternoon and ending the day in eighth.

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"Today obviously did not go to plan. I wanted to continue pushing hard this morning, in order to stay in the hunt for victory. Unfortunately, however, I missed a braking point on the very first stage and skidded off the road," explained Latvala.

"I'd like to say a big thank you to the fans who helped us out of the ditch, otherwise it would have been over for us," added the Finn. "It was difficult to push the car to the limit [after that] without the rear wing, and I did not find it easy to get into a good rhythm.

"However, we found our form again at the end of the day. On Sunday I will try to remain positive now and clock a few fastest times on the really slippery stages."

Volkswagen boss Jost Capito added: "Saturday was a typical day at Wales Rally GB. The extremely difficult conditions in the Welsh forests always produce great drama and Jari-Matti discovered that first hand. He wanted to increase the pressure on Sebastien, but skidded off the road in doing so. That left Sebastien in a situation, where he was able to simply defend his lead and he did that intelligently.

"All in all it has been an eventful day. That only goes to show that we will have to be on the ball right down to the finish if we want to be celebrating another victory tomorrow. I believe the team and drivers are alert enough to pull it off."