Kris Meeke: Northern Irish driver crashes again on opening stage in Rally Germany

Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle in action during the second day of the WRC Finland
Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle in action during last month's Rally Finland

Kris Meeke has suffered another crash in this year's World Rally Championship after a first-stage mishap in Germany.

The Dungannon driver clipped the inside of the barrier on the first super special stage which resulted in him breaking his right front suspension.

Meeke will resume action on Friday but a 10-minute penalty means he has no chance of a high finish this weekend.

The Northern Irishman has crashed out in Monte Carlo, Sweden, Argentina, Portugal and Italy this season.

Those crashes, all from top-five positions, resulted in the 38-year-old being dropped for Rally Poland earlier this summer.

He returned to the cockpit of his Citroen for Rally Finland, where he trundled home in a low-key eighth place.

However this latest crash will put more pressure on Meeke from his team, who had nine-time WRC champion Sebastien Loeb testing the C3 before the rally in a bid to improve the car's handling problems.

Meeke did win Rally Mexico during the Spring but only after a dramatic finish as he somehow recovered from coming off the road in the closing kilometre.

Ott Tanak set the fastest time around the Saarbrucken stage on Thursday with team-mate Sebastien Ogier going third fastest as Citroen's Irish driver Craig Breen split the M-Sport duo to lie second.