BRUCE Garland's return to the Dakar Rally ended in disaster after a bad batch of diesel forced him to retire from the race only days out from the finish.
It was a bitter pill for the veteran Maraylya racer who made his return to the rally this year after breaking his back in the 2011 race.
Garland was holding the 44th place overall with co-driver Harry Suzuki before mechanical problems surfaced in the eighth stage and forced his car out of the race.
"[Both of us are] gutted and have officially withdrawn," Garland said.
"We've been wishing and hoping for a couple of days since the problem first surfaced, but they couldn't resolve it."
The Isuzu Motorsports pair will be disappointed to retire after overcoming gruelling wet weather conditions during stage eight.
"We are all beyond exhaustionwe've had no food or sleep for days," Garland said.
Rally organisers were forced to cancel the first 288km of stage eight after widespread flooding caused "armageddon-like" conditions.
"It was after this we picked up a bad batch of diesel in Cordoba, [Argentina] and the trouble started," Garland said.
On Friday, team Isuzu still had a second D-MAX car in action with Adrian Di Lallo and Steve Riley hoping to make it to the finish line in Santiago, Chile.