M-Sport's Elfyn Evans has retired from Rally de Portugal after hitting a rock in Saturday morning's opening test.

Evans, who had restarted today under Rally 2, went out 4 kilometres into SS8, the 18.57 km Baiao 1 test, when his car sustained damage in a cut. It briefly caught fire, but was quickly extinguished by Evans and co-driver Daniel Barritt.

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The Welshman had also hit problems early on Friday as well, with throttle problems costing him over an hour in SS2 and while he was eventually able to make a temporary repair - and drove through the following two stages and back to service in the new Fiesta RS WRC, he was out of time and had no option but to retire from the leg.

"It was all going to plan but unfortunately we had an issue with the throttle towards the end of SS2 - with the fly-by-wire," Evans confirmed on Friday. "The engineers talked us through various tests to get the car going and eventually we did manage to fix it but it took too long and we ran out of time.

"The really unfortunate thing is that it wasn't a new part. It's something that's very much tried and tested but it's just one of those things. It was a relatively easy fix for the technicians and we'll be back under Rally 2 regulations tomorrow.

"We need to look at the positives and if you look at our pace - and also Ott [Tanak]'s pace [in the sister car] - I think it's clear to see that we have made a step forward in terms of performance [with the new Fiesta RS WRC]. Looking at those with a similar road position to us, I think we were setting a pretty good pace."