Mitia Dotta has revealed the anguish he and driver Giandomenico Basso felt when they lost the lead of Rally Principe de Asturias in Spain recently.
Basso and co-driver Dotta were leading the Intercontinental Rally Challenge round when they spun their works Abarth Grande Punto
Super 2000 on a left-hand bend while racing upon Day Two's third stage.
They eventually finished the event in eighth position after losing several minutes when their car's reverse gear broke, initially preventing them from regaining the road. Their failure to win means they are no longer in contention for the IRC title.
"It was not a very difficult corner but we had some problems with some bumps and spun right around," said Dotta. "The car was a little bit off the road at the front and there were no people in that place to help us. We tried to reverse but the gear had broken and we also had no clutch.
"It was very disappointing and a very sad feeling in the car because we could not believe what had happened," Dotta added.
With their IRC title chances dissolved, the Abarth pair will forego this week's upcoming round in Rally Sanremo and participate instead in the European Championship's Elpa Rally in Greece which takes place simultaneously. The Abarth pair are currently second in the ERC, five points behind the leader.