Picture: WRC

Paris, France - Northern Ireland driver Kris Meeke and his navigator have been dropped from Citroen's World Rally Championship team because of "an excessively high number of crashes".

Meeke's latest crash in this year's series came last weekend at Rally Portugal when his car rolled down a bank, crashing into trees. Meeke and his co-driver Paul Nagle were fortunate to escape serious injury.

A Citroen Racing statement on Thursday said the crashes "could have had serious consequences with regard to the crew's safety".

The team said it would soon announce a new driver lineup for the remainder of the season.

Picture: WRC

Citroen Racing's Pierre Budar said: "This wasn't an easy decision to make because it affects 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."

Meeke was in sixth place in the 2018 Driver championship with 43 points. He has won five WRC events over the past three seasons, but his best finish this year has been a third placing in Mexico.

AP