Rising star Jarkko Nikara has had to pull out of the rest of the Acropolis Rally of Greece due to engine problems.
The inexperienced Finn had been one of the sensations of the first day of the event. Not only was he again the fastest of the Pirelli Star Drivers by a comfortable margin, but he set the quickest Group N time of all on the opening stage, and then ran a close third in the category behind only the two Skoda Fabia Super 2000s for the rest of the day.
But he had to pull out on the last stage on Friday night with engine trouble. Those problems are too serious for the Ralliart Italy-run Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X to run on today's six stages around Loutraki.
"It's very disappointing," said Nikara. "It was going well for me. I had a push on the first stage, but then took it a little bit easier after that.
"Towards the end of the stage five, we had some warning something was not right. The warning light came on in the next stage and we switched it off."
PSD supervisor Phil Short confirmed the problem was water-related and expressed his disappointment for Nikara.
"There's no external damage, no split pipes or radiator damage, so the engine will go back and be examined," he said. "It's a shame for Jarko, he was going very well."