Mikko Hirvonen has admitted to Ford team director Malcolm Wilson that he made a "stupid mistake" when he crashed out of the second day of the Jordan Rally.
The Finn was three miles into the morning's opening test when he cut a right-hander and broke the suspension. Prior to that, Wilson felt Ford had been in the best possible position to collect a second win from three rounds of this year's World Rally Championship.
"I can't believe it," said Hirvonen. "I took too tight a line over a crest. The car hit a small gravel bank on the inside of a right bend and the impact threw it into the air and across the road. I was lucky not to roll but it landed on the left-front wheel and broke the suspension."
Hirvonen's mistake was the first time he has failed to finish the day of an event since the 2006 Rally Mexico.
"Mikko's words to me were: 'You'll be even more disappointed when you watch the on-board,'" said Wilson. "This is obviously disappointing, as we'd got all of the ducks lined up on this rally; we were in a very strong position. It's not over now, far from it.
"Mikko said it was a stupid mistake, he cut in and nibbled the bank and that was it. Like he said, he doesn't mind going off when he's pushing, but this wasn't even an accident."
Despite Hirvonen's retirement from day two – and it is hoped that he will be able to return under superally rules tomorrow – Jari-Matti Latvala's sister Focus RS WRC 09 still leads the event.
"I think Jari has done a fantastic job this morning," said Wilson. "There was pressure there, running where he is running on the road, but he's kept the car looking neat and tidy and, from what I can see he hasn't taken any risks. We have to see what the rest of today brings before we decide on a plan for tomorrow."