Kris Meeke has been axed from Citroen’s World Rally Championship line-up for the rest of the 2018 season due to “an excessively high number of crashes”.

The Briton suffered a big accident at the latest WRC round in Portugal last weekend and was subsequently airlifted to hospital for precautionary checks. 

A Citroen statement read: “Due to an excessively high number of crashes, some of which were particularly heavy and could have had serious consequences with regard to the crew’s safety, and given that the risks involved were unjustified by the sporting stakes at play, Citroën Racing WRT has decided to terminate the participation of Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle in the 2018 WRC.”

Citroen team principal Pierre Budar added: "This wasn't an easy decision to make because it effects a driver and a co-driver, but it is largely founded on safety issues which come under my preoccupations as team principal. We have consequently chosen to make this decision as a preventive measure.”

The French squad has yet to announce who will replace Meeke for the remainder of the campaign but confirmed its other line-ups consisting of Craig Breen and Scott Martin, and Mads Ostberg and Torstein Eriksen will not be affected heading into the next round in Sardinia, Italy. 

Meeke was signed by Citroen ahead of its factory WRC return in 2017 but endured a difficult season as he finished seventh in the drivers’ championship. 

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