Stage data: SS4, Mittelmosel 2 (24.90 kilometres)
By Volkswagen Motorsport co-driver Julien Ingrassia: “For all the stages apart from the Circus Maximus stage on Sunday all our pace notes are brand new because the stages are running in the reverse way and the Circus Maximus stage is only one page of notes. The stage is in the middle of vineyards, it’s narrow and quick with a lot of junctions.”
How the action unfolded:
Jari-Matti Latvala ended Sebastien Loeb's run of fastest stage times on ADAC Rallye Deutschland as he set the pace on the second running of the Mittelmosel test.
The Ford man's 14m31.7s outpaced Loeb by 1.8 seconds, and brought Latvala to within 3.2s of his second-placed team-mate Petter Solberg, and 17s off the lead.
But Latvala admitted he could not maintain that sort of speed without huge risks.
"It's good but I have to say I can't push any more," he said. "Now I just need to be smart. I'm very, very happy with the time but I had two big moments and I just need to back off a bit. But it's good to pressure Loeb."
Loeb felt his own performance had not been as good as earlier in the day.
"I was pushing harder than in the morning but I don't know if maybe there is some dirt or just me not being as fast on the second pass. But I did a good stage," he said.
Solberg lost 0.7s to Loeb and said he was pleased to be staying in contention on a rally where the champion has always been so dominant. Loeb has won in Germany every time the event has been in the FIA World Rally Championship except last season, when he was only denied by a puncture.
"We're on the pace. We've just got to stay calm," said Solberg.
Thierry Neuville was third quickest as he continued his excellent start for Citroen Junior. That drew the fourth-placed Belgian even further clear of Mikko Hirvonen, who continued to struggle and was only seventh fastest. Hirvonen stalled at the stage start but said his main problem was a sheer lack of pace.
"I lost maybe three seconds in the stall so I've still lost a hell of a lot of time on the stage," he said. "I'm trying to find a better rhythm. Now it's quite okay but we are not there."