Volkswagen Motorsport II pilot Andreas Mikkelsen has crashed out of Rally Finland on Friday's opening loop.

Mikkelsen went off the road around 1 kilometre from the start of SS5 - the 5.62 km Himos 1 test, the final one of the loop. Mikkelsen and co-driver Ola Floene both escaped unharmed, but were unable to continue. He will not be able to re-start.

Mikkelsen had been running sixth overall in his Polo R WRC post-SS4, 35.9s off the lead.

"We had set our sights very high for Rally Finland. Above all, we wanted to defend second place in the World Championship - and to extend our advantage if possible. Unfortunately, however, today was not our day and we crashed out," Mikkelsen lamented.

"My pace notes were a little too optimistic on the fifth stage. I lifted in a long left-hander with a slight crest, which can be taken flat-out in perfect conditions. However, that did not prove to be enough.

"We ran out of road and rolled several times. Fortunately the Polo R WRC is a very solid car and nothing serious happened to us. We are obviously very disappointed that the damage is too great for the team to be able to repair it on-site."