Tommi Makinen has been forced to withdraw from the final leg of the Rally Argentina after suffering a massive loss of time following a transmission failure. The 39-year-old Finn had a nightmare on the opening day as he was forced to drive in second gear for two stages following the transmission error.

As a result the four-time World Rally Champion spent Saturday's second leg carrying out testing duties rather than pushing his Subaru to the limit.

Subaru had hoped other retirements would bring Tommi into the points, but with only Britain's Colin McRae, Citroen's Sebastien Loeb and Hyundai's Freddy Lox retiring, the team decided to pull Makinen and allow him to fly home to see his newly-born son.

"Obviously I'm disappointed about the result but we have made some good changes to the car that should be useful in Greece next month," he said. "And of course I'm happy to be going home to see my son."

Filed by Ciaran Walsh