Brundle crashes out

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The Independent Online

Martin Brundle's second crack at the Network Q Rally of Great Britain ended today in the same way as the first - with a spectacular crash.

Martin Brundle's second crack at the Network Q Rally of Great Britain ended today in the same way as the first - with a spectacular crash.

The previous attempt three years ago by the ex-Formula One star to prove himself in a vastly contrasting type of motor sport came to a shuddering halt in a Welsh forest.

And it was a case of deja vu as 40-year-old Brundle, driving a Toyota Corolla, squandered the chance to achieve his primary objective of simply completing the rally.

Brundle, who revealed before the event that he would have been "ecstatic" with a top-30 finish, was on target for a respectable result when he occupied 40th position after 12 stages.

But on the next section ITV's Formula One summariser got his car out of shape approaching a crest and paid the ultimate price for the mistake.

"It all went wrong at Myherin. We went over a little hump-back bridge where you had to stay left and I just wasn't far enough over," said Brundle.

"As we jumped over the top we ended up missing the road, hit a tree stump and broke the radiator, although the rest of the car was absolutely fine.

"Although we lost a lot of water we managed to reach the end of the stage but could not make the 18 miles back to the service area.

"I'm completely gutted. We went through some magnificent corners, I'd stayed out of trouble and feel quite angry to have got caught out by such a silly little thing.

"Everything was really starting to work well. I was finding more and more confidence and the pace notes were good. But I guess that's rallying."

Yet Brundle thoroughly enjoyed his second taste of Britain's most-watched sporting event - and admitted he was astonished by the number of spectators lining the route.

"It completely blew my mind on today's first stage," said the former McLaren, Jordan and Benetton driver.

"It meant I was much too cautious and did a bit of a poor job on that stage. But on the next I was only about a minute down on the leaders and I was quite happy with that."

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