Kris Meeke's impressive Monte Carlo Rally effort has come to a heart-breaking conclusion after sustaining gearbox problems with one stage of the day remaining.
The Briton was enjoying a stellar run in the Abu Dhabi Racing Citroen DS3 as the only driver capable of taking the fight to Sebastien Ogier, the pair split by a 30secs with four stages of the event remaining.
However, after complaining of problems with his car towards the end of SS12, Meeke was forced to stop his car outside the tyre change area ahead of leg three's concluding Sisteron stage.
With no service park before the final stage of the day, Meeke has been forced to abandon his car, with the Briton confirming his retirement on Twitter
His exit comes after Jari-Matti Latvala crashed out of third place on SS11, which means Andreas Mikkelsen and Thierry Neuville have been promoted to provisional podium positions, with Mads Ostberg and Stefan Lefebvre rounding out the top five.
Ogier, meanwhile, will see his lead multiply to 2mins 17.1secs.