Volkswagen's Sebastien Ogier has lost the lead on Rallye Deutschland after going off the road in SS3, the opening test of the day.
Ogier had stamped his authority on the event on Thursday evening, winning the opening two stages to establish an early 5.7 second advantage. However in Mikkelmosel 1 this morning the Frenchman damaged the front left suspension on his Polo R WRC and lost just over 2.5 minutes.
“I missed the braking point,” he told the official WRC site. “I didn't have it in my notes. I went into the vineyard for a bit and hit something and damaged the front.”
Ogier now drops down to 12th, pretty much ending any hope he had of clinching the 2013 WRC Drivers' title this weekend. It remains to be seen if he will be able to make repairs and get through the next two tests and back to service...
Team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala meanwhile now takes over the lead, 5.8 seconds up on Thierry Neuville, who was fastest in SS3. Citroen duo Dani Sordo and Mikko Hirvonen are third and fourth, while Mads Ostberg rounds out the top five.