Citroen team leader Sebastien Loeb has crash out of Rally Poland in the third test of the day.

Loeb, who was running second overall, just 0.3 seconds behind Mikko Hirvonen, went off the road near the start of SS4 - the 33.17 kilometre Paprotki 1 test.

Loeb and co-driver, Daniel Elena both escaped unhurt. However, they were unable to continue after hitting a tree stump and retire from the opening leg. It is not yet known if they will be able to re-start on Saturday under the SupeRally format.

It is Loeb's second crash in as many events, following his off in Greece two weeks ago, and potentially may cost him the championship lead.

Hirvonen, who leads the event - and who trails the Frenchman currently by seven points in the title race, told the official WRC website: "I saw his car off the road. It looks like he's rolled it. But it didn't look too bad.

"After that I took it carefully. I don't want to make the same mistake. It is strange, very strange."

Mikko now has a 2.4 second advantage over his BP Ford Abu Dhabi team-mate, Jari-Matti Latvala, who is in P2, while Dani Sordo is third, 12.3 seconds further back.

Crews now return to Mikolajki for the mid-day service.

More to follow later...

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