Toni Gardemeister has retired from the 78th Rallye Automobile Monte-Carlo, round one of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
The Finn damaged his Astra Racing Abarth Grande Punto when he crashed into a snow bank on Thursday’s penultimate stage. Although his mechanics made
repairs during yesterday evening’s service halt in Valence in the hope the Finn could continue, the car’s engine had suffered irreparable damage. He stopped on the road section heading to today’s first stage.
Astra boss Luca Pregliasco said: “Unfortunately we were not able to continue as a consequence of the damage sustained yesterday. As we knew we would not get to the finish we asked Toni to stop to prevent further damage. It’s a pity as Toni is a star driver who was once again doing a great job for us.
Gardemeister, 34, has a strong record on the legendary asphalt rally. He finished second with Astra in 2006 and was challenging for a podium finish last season. He was tenth overall when he retired