Kris Meeke is all out of sync after steering nightmare
Another rocky rally for Kris Meeke. The Dungannon driver was forced to retire from second place on day one of Rally Sweden after his Citroen broke its steering.
Meeke, who had been forced out of second place on the Monte Carlo Rally last month when another hidden rock damaged the gearbox, had again been chasing the Volkswagen of World champion Sebastien Ogier.
Initially in third place, he moved up to second when Ogier's team-mate Andrea Mikkelsen went off the road on stage three, dropping 17 seconds.
Mikkelsen later lost more time after sliding into a small tree, dropping to sixth.
It was a second blow to Volkswagen, who had earlier seen Jari-Matti Latvala retire after suffering a broken suspension.
Meeke set the fastest time on stage seven to close the gap to Ogier to 20 seconds but on the next stage, his Citroen caught a rock at the edge of the road, breaking the steering.
The Ulsterman was expected to re-start today under Rally2 rules.
Ogier finished the first leg of the rally with a 26 second lead over the Hyundai of New Zealander Hayden Paddon with the Fords of Mads Ostberg and Ott Tanak in third and fourth places.
Dani Sordi was fifth for Hyundai.
Craig Breen, making his debut as Meeke's Citroen team-mate, was in eighth place overnight despite suffering a puncture on the final stage of the day.