Rally Germany: Andreas Mikkelsen leads as VW team-mates hit trouble

Andreas Mikkelsen leads Rally Germany after a tricky pair of opening stages on Friday morning, as Volkswagen team-mates Sebastien Ogier and Jari-Matti Latvala both had difficult starts to the event

Rally Germany: Andreas Mikkelsen leads as VW team-mates hit trouble

Norwegian Mikkelsen was second-fastest on both of the morning's damp and dirty stages, despite bending his front-right wheel on the opener, and he leads the way by 2.7 seconds from Hyundai's Thierry Neuville, who set the pace on SS2 Moselland.

Ogier is third overall, and led the way after the first stage, enjoying the best of the damp road conditions from the front, before more mud was thrown onto the asphalt stages as more cars passed through.

But the Frenchman missed a hairpin shortly after the start of the second stage and had to reverse to take it again, dropping 8.7s to Mikkelsen and also falling behind Neuville.

He at least fared better than Latvala in the third Volkswagen Polo R WRC, the Finn retiring from the first day of action in the first stage with gearbox problems.

Latvala's issues hit early in the Mittelmosel stage, and though he was able to continue at first he then parked up and will not return to the rally this afternoon.

Dani Sordo lies fourth in the second Hyundai i20, 10.3s behind Mikkelsen and well clear of fifth-placed Ott Tanak, who complained about the short intervals between the two stages as he nursed his DMACK-shod Ford Fiesta through SS2.

Stephane Lefebvre and Mads Ostberg were the last two runners to come through without major problems, and lie sixth and seventh.

Eighth-placed Hayden Paddon picked up a puncture on the Moselland stage before service, and is a full minute behind rally leader Mikkelsen, with Armin Kremer the leading WRC2 runner in ninth.

His position is also thanks to the absence of Eric Camilli from the classification, the M-Sport driver having also stopped on the first stage.

LEADING POSITIONS AFTER SS2

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WRC Rally Germany: Mikkelsen leads Ogier and Neuville on Friday

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