Kubica Makes Rally Monte Carlo Exit with Engine Failure

Robert Kubica's “intrusion” in the world of rallying lasted only 4 kilometers, as the Polish driver's Renault Clio R3 suffered an engine failure during the prologue of this week's Rally Monte Carlo. The round in the Principality counts for the season opener in the International Rally Challenge and was supposed to be Kubica's first real rally event.

France's publication Auto Hebdo reported that Kubica's miss-happening took place in the icy prologue on Tuesday night, and that the Renault mechanics investigated the engine failure to see if it can be repaired in time. However, it was decided that a new powerplant may not be installed in time for today's action.

That means Kubica is the second Formula One driver in the recent history of the international rally scene to fail to finish an event. Last year, as you are all familiar with by now, Kimi Raikkonen contested in the WRC round of Finland and had to quit it during the second day of the running, due to a crash.

With his Rally Monte Carlo dream over, Kubica will now have more time to focus on his seat-fitting and factory-visiting commitments with Renault. The Pole recently traveled to Enstone to meet the team's new manager Eric Boullier and also do his first seat-fitting for the upcoming R30. Kubica is scheduled to do another such session next weekend, before the official launch of the car in Valencia.

Kubica's first race-like action this year will therefore consist of the first testing session of the off-season, at the Ricardo Tormo circuit. The 25-year old is likely to be the first of the Renault drivers to debut the R30 on the Spanish track on February 1st, as the Enstone-based organization is yet to announce his teammate for the 2010 season.
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