Andreas Mikkelsen's Rally d'Italia charge is over after he hit a rock which broke a track control arm on his Volkswagen Polo R WRC machine which he and co-driver Jaeger Anders were unable to fix.

Having started SS14 running in fifth, 11.5 seconds off of M-Sport Ford's Mads Ostberg, the Volkswagen Motorsport driver hit an unsighted rock which forced him to stop with a broken track control arm.

With both Mikkelsen and Anders okay from the off they desperately tried to fix the damaged part on the roadside but despite their best efforts were forced to retire and will return to action on Sunday under Rally 2 conditions.

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The retirement is Mikkelsen's second of the season and sees WRC championship leader Sebastien Ogier's closest title rival drop out of contention of strong points scoring in Sardinia.