Kris Meeke ends 12th in Rally Sweden after crash ends hopes of higher finish

Kris Meeke in Rally Sweden
Kris Meeke was challenging for a podium position before his crash on Saturday

Kris Meeke could only finish 12th in Rally Sweden after going off the road on Saturday when running in fifth spot.

The Citroen driver was in a battle for a podium spot when he went off on stage 14 to drop him out of contention.

Although the car emerged unscathed, the 37-year-old Dungannon driver lost over eight minutes as spectators helped to remove him from a snow bank.

Finnish driver Jari-Matti Latvala won the rally for Toyota, ahead of M-Sport duo Ott Tanak and Sebastien Ogier.

Second place in stage seven showed that Meeke had potential, but he lost the back end of his Citroen over a crest in stage 14.

He plummeted down the order as the minutes passed, emerging in 12th place where he eventually finished.

The Northern Irishman still recorded his first championship points of the season as he finished fourth in the powerstage, which leaves him 14th in the standings.

Meeke's team mate Craig Breen, making his debut in an 2017 spec rally car, had another strong showing as he came home in fifth.

Hyundai driver Thierry Neuville held a 43.3 second lead heading into the final stage on Saturday, but crashed out for the lead for the second successive rally.

The incident which handed victory to Latvala and Toyota, in what was only their second rally back after a 17-year absence from the World Rally Championship.