Colin McRaes hopes of winning his second attempt at the Paris Dakar Rally were wiped out yesterday after a spectacular crash took him out of the 2005 event.
The 36 year old from Lanark, who ended the first day 14 seconds behind the leader, had taken the lead by the end of day three but slipped to tenth by the end of day four after suffering a rear puncture. A blistering run the following day, however, saw McRae regain the lead of this 6000 mile rally by nearly five and a half minutes.
His fortunes turned during yesterdays 300 mile stage when, just 40 miles from the end, McRae and Swedish co-driver Tina Thorner were caught in a sandstorm. With seriously reduced visibility, a jump at the top of a mountainous sand dune was misjudged by the pair, resulting in their Nissan pickup rolling end-over-end before coming to rest on its side.
Both were airlifted to medics for examination who confirmed no serious injuries had been sustained.
McRae will fly back into Scotland this evening.