Motorsport.com -- Tommi Mäkinen, second to Colin McRae, going into the final event for the 2001 season, will not win his fifth championship.
Marlboro Mitsubishi Ralliart driver Tommi Makinen was the first on the sidelines, the Finn losing the front left wheel after breaking a bolt in the suspension.
This was a disappointment for Mäkinen and the team after their past years success.
"It happened on a very fast left hand corner", said Tommi about his retirement. "There was a hole in the road and we hit it and broke a bolt in the suspension. The wheel then came loose and we didn't have another bolt to make repairs. I'm feeling a bit numb at the moment, very disappointed, but sometimes that's how it goes - you're either lucky or not. We were pushing hard, there was everything to go for and it's hard to accept that we're not in the fight. I was really looking forward to ending the season on a high with Mitsubishi; we have achieved a lot together - a fifth world title with them would have been fantastic for everyone".
Later, during stage three, points leader McRae had his own problems
The 2001 World Rally Championship could belong to Richard Burns (3rd in points with 40), Carlos Sainz (4th with 33) or McRae could still take the title.