Stage data: SS8, Peterberg 1 (9.37 kilometres)
By Volkswagen Motorsport co-driver Julien Ingrassia: “This is a really nice stage and really short. It’s in the middle of the countryside and enjoyable because there are not so many junctions, more open area. You drive fast in the open areas then you go into the forest where it becomes are little more narrow. You have to be careful of damp sections.”
How the action unfolded:
The battle for the ADAC Rallye Deutschland podium places took a dramatic twist in the rain of Peterberg as Dani Sordo jumped to third and Jari-Matti Latvala fell back to fifth.
A first stage victory of the weekend for Sordo and the Prodrive MINI team saw them gain two places, even though the Spaniard said he had driven cautiously in the tricky conditions.
"I didn't take a lot of risks, I just drove and braked normally," said Sordo. "It was tricky with hard tyres in the wet, but we needed to do it.
"It's good but the rally is really long and now there's a really important stage for everyone with Panzerplatte."
Latvala lost over half a minute trying to regain the road after a spin, leaving him three seconds behind Sordo and 2.2s down on Thierry Neuville in the overall positions.
"I spun it. Under braking there was a bit more dampness than I thought," said Latvala. "No damage, but I got stuck and had to reverse, then go forwards and finally I got back, but I lost a lot of time.
"Now I need to concentrate on third place. Petter [Solberg] has gone and [Sebastien] Loeb is too far away."
Loeb lost 0.2s to Solberg as he drove conservatively through the stage, keeping his outright lead at 41.6s.
"You've just got to keep the speed in the corner, and the road is as wide as the car here so if you lose it once, you're off," said Loeb. "We don't want to make a mistake, we have a good lead."
Ott Tanak was an impressive fourth fastest, keeping his M-Sport Ford ahead of Mads Ostberg's Adapta example in their close battle for second.
Mikko Hirvonen felt slightly more comfortable on stage eight, though his declaration that he "loves Germany now" was delivered with a wry grin as he still only managed the sixth fastest time.
Ninth-placed Chris Atkinson took it easy on Peterberg. The Australian had the worst of the conditions on the preceding stage and also rued his lack of experience on the hard tyres in such weather with the MINI, leaving in a very lonely ninth overall, two minutes adrift of Ostberg.