World championship favourites Colin McRae and Nicky Grist stepped unhurt from the remains of their Ford Focus, after crashing out of the Network Q Rally of Great Britain on SS4.

The duo, who led the title fight going into the event, and won the opening superspecial in Cardiff Bay on Thursday night, rolled out of the rally on the first Rhondda test after misreading a corner and hitting a hidden dip in the road.

"It was a bad crash," co-driver Grist revealed to Red Dragon Radio in South Wales, "It was a fifth-gear right-hander, but we hit a dip and that just launched us. It was a multiple roll and the car's well damaged."

McRae, who held a one-point lead over Tommi Makinen and two over new title favourite Richard Burns in the standings, admitted that he had approached the corner badly as he reflected on the accident.

"We just cut it too much," he sighed ruefully, "The car hit a hole and we just rolled over."

With Makinen also out of the event after breaking his suspension on SS2 - St Gwynno - and championship outsider Carlos Sainz having also run into problems, Burns needs only to finish fourth or higher to land a first world crown. After four stages, the Subaru man lay third, behind Peugeot pair Marcus Gronholm and Didier Auriol.