Andreas Mikkelsen leads a World Rally Championship event for the first time since 2016 after moving ahead of the pack through the first loop of stages on the Rally Germany.

Competing in only his third event for Citroen after the former VW driver and 2016 runner-up was left without a drive at the start of 2017, the Norwegian demonstrated he is beginning to gel with the C3 as he leapfrogged Ott Tanak on the third of the day’s stages.

Mikkelsen is chased by a trio of Fords with Tanak, Sebastien Ogier and Elfyn Evans following up fourth, eight and 13secs adrift respectively, with Jari-Matti Latvala rounding out the top five for Toyota.

Championship leader Thierry Neuville lost time with a trip across a vineyard, causing some front end damage to his Hyundai and leaving him 21secs off the lead in sixth, while Rally Finland star Esapekka Lappi and his Toyota team-mate Hanninen were seventh and eighth fastest, with Craig Breen and Hayden Paddon completing the top ten.

Elsewhere, Dani Sordo led briefly before an off dropped him seven minutes off the lead, while the under pressure Kris Meeke is 10mins down following his accident on the previous night’s super-special.



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