Citroen's Sebastien Loeb has retired from day two of Rally Italia Sardegna after going off the road in the first test of the day.

The Frenchman, who was 1.1 seconds up on team-mate Mikko Hirvonen following the first two tests on Thursday, made a mistake about 5 kilometres into the 29.68 kilometre Monte Lerno test, SS3. Loeb and co-driver, Daniel Elena both escaped unharmed and they should be able to rejoin on Saturday under the Rally 2 regulations.

"We hit some rocks at the outside of a corner," Loeb explained via Citroen Racing's Twitter feed. "I felt that the steering was damaged and tried to continue. But we had to stop."

Thierry Neuville meanwhile also had problems in the same test and rolled his Citroen DS3 WRC.

Unlike Loeb, however, the Belgian was able to continue, albeit losing over 6 minutes and dropping from P4 overall to outside the top ten in his Qatar WRT entered machine.

"I was not concentrating enough, didn't hear a pace note, and we went off," Neuville told the official WRC site.

"The car was on the side, but we managed to continue although I have hurt my right hand because it was not easy [getting the car back on its wheels] with just two people."