Citroen Racing WRT has parted ways with Northern Irish driver Kris Meeke and his co-driver Paul Nagle because of "an excessively high number of crashes".

The Dungannon man crashed out of the Rally Portugal on Saturday after spinning downhill into trees.

Both Meeke and Nagle escaped serious injury, with the former apologising to his team for the incident afterwards, saying: "I turned into a fast left-hand corner a little bit late.

"I missed my line and got onto the loose gravel on the outside of the corner and lost control of the car.

"Obviously, I'm sorry for the whole team, who clearly deserved better. I'm really, very grateful they built such a strong car."

Citroen have now taken the decision to terminate the position of Meeke and Nagle, releasing a statement to explain their decision.

"Due to an excessively high number of crashes, some of which were particularly heavy and could have serious consequences with regard to the crew's safety, and given that the risks involved were unjustified by the sporting stakes at play, Citroen Racing WRT has decided to terminate the participation of Kris Meeke and Paul Nagle in the 2018 WRC.

"The decision becomes effective from the 2018 Rally Italia Sardegna and we will shortly be announcing the team's lineup of crews for the remainder of the 2018 season."

Waterford man Craig Breen remains part of their plans for the rest of the World Rally Championship season.

Team principal Pierre Budar added: "This wasn’t an easy decision to make because it effects a driver and a co-driver, but it is largely founded on safety issues which come under my preoccupations as team principal. We have consequently chosen to make this decision as a preventive measure."