Jari-Matti Latvala has been forced to retire from the Monte Carlo Rally after sliding off course on SS11 and sustaining terminal suspension damage.

Having established himself in a comfortable third position behind runaway leaders Sebastien Ogier and Kris Meeke, Latvala had already said he was simply targeting reaching the finish, but his rally would come to an end on the 51k test through Larder et Valenca.

Indeed, the Finn had been on course for the fastest time as he lit up the splits, only for him to run wide at a flat right-hander, the rear-left wheel slipping into a water gully and dragging the front-left of the Polo WRC R into the ditch before striking a mound of dirt.

Pulling him onto the adjacent field, Latvala surged forward and clipped a spectator retrieving his camera at low speed before touring to the end of the stage, at a loss of two minutes and two positions.

Conducting repairs on the ensuing road section, Latvala's efforts were not enough as he failed to reach the start of SS12, forcing him to admit defeat and call retirement.

His exit has promoted team-mate Andreas Mikkelsen up to third position, but he is just 30secs ahead of SS12 stage winner Thierry Neuville.



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