Germany WRC: Mikkelsen leads Neuville, Latvala suffers breakdown

Volkswagen's Andreas Mikkelsen ended Rally Germany's Friday morning loop in the lead from Hyundai's Thierry Neuville, while Jari-Matti Latvala retired from the day's running in the opening stage.

Germany WRC: Mikkelsen leads Neuville, Latvala suffers breakdown

Neuville overcame a deficit of over five seconds from SS1 winner Sebastien Ogier to win SS2 from Mikkelsen.

But the Norwegian's combined time of SS1 and SS2 meant the Volkswagen driver finished on top with a total time of 27m40.3s, with a 2.7s lead over Neuville. 

Meanwhile, championship leader Ogier lost time at the start of SS2, in which he overshot a hairpin and had to go back to complete it.

"I did a mistake at the beginning. I missed a hairpin and had to go back. It cost me time but it's okay. For sure not a good stage," the Frenchman said.

Ogier sits third in the overall standings, 6.8s behind the leader, but comfortably ahead of fourth placed Dani Sordo in the second Hyundai.

Ott Tanak was the leading Ford in fifth, 24.6s off Mikkelsen's time, ahead of the privateer Citroen DS3 of Stephane Lefebvre.

Both Mads Ostberg and Hayden Paddon had a difficult second stage, ending seventh and eighth. While the former complained of steering and handbrake issues, the latter suffered a left-rear puncture.

The biggest loser of the day was Volkswagen's Latvala, who suffered a gearbox failure and was forced to retire for the day, after stopping at 13.7 km mark in SS1. He will return for Saturday's stages.

Overall results after SS2 - Top 10:

POS DRIVER Car Time Gap
1. NOR Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen 27:40.3  
2. BEL Thiery Neuville Hyundai 27:43.0 +2.7
3. FRA Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen 27:47.1 +6.8
4. ESP Dani Sordo Hyundai 27:50.6 +10.3
5. EST Ott Tanak Ford 28:04.9 +24.6
6. FRA Stephane Lefebvre Citroen 28:11.5 +31.2
7. NOR Mads Ostberg Ford 28:25.4 +45.1
8. NZL Hayden Paddon Hyundai 28:41.0 +1:00.7
9. DEU A. Kremer Skoda (WRC2) 29:00.1 +1:19.8
10. ESP J. Suarez Miranda Peugeot (WRC2) 29:19.3 +1:39.0
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Mikkelsen and Latvala fastest on Rally Germany Shakedown
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