Click here for WRC Rallye Deutschland classification top 15 after SS12

Ott Tanak has built a useful lead at the midway stage of Rallye Deutschland over Andreas Mikkelsen, while World Rally Championship leader Thierry Neuville has retired from the rally with suspension failure.

Tanak in the M-Sport Ford steered clear of trouble to notch up stage wins and set-up a 23-second advantage over Mikkelsen in the Citroen Abu Dhabi WRC machine who is now coming under pressure from defending champion Sebastian Ogier.

Neuville had been involved in the fight for the podium in third place but on the opening stage of Saturday the Hyundai driver suffered a broken right-rear suspension unit. Despite limping to the end of SS9 he was forced into retirement from the event with the next service park not coming until the end of the first run after SS12.

As a result the rest of the field behind Ogier has been promoted up a place with Elfyn Evans in fourth, making it three Fords inside the top four, as Juho Hanninen completed the top five contenders for Toyota.

Craig Breen is enjoying a relatively low-key Rallye Deutschland in sixth place for Citroen ahead of Jari-Matti Latvala for Toyota and Hayden Paddon in the Hyundai. Due to the high rate of attrition of the factory drivers out of contention – Neuville joining team-mate Dani Sordo plus Kris Meeke and Esapekka Lappi – WRC2 leader Jan Kopecky is ninth for Skoda with Eric Camilli inside the top ten.