Jari-Matti Latvala looks set to gain ground on Sebastien Ogier in the World Rally Championship after the Frenchman crashed out on Saturday.
Finn Latvala started Saturday leading Rally Germany by 37 seconds and the Volkswagen driver extended that advantage to 56.6secs after a dominant display.
Latvala will be further boosted by the news that team-mate and defending champion Ogier will take no further part in the weekend's action after an accident on stage eight caused him to withdraw from the rally.
Ogier - who was forced to retire from Friday's racing after spinning off through the undergrowth and down a hillside - came off the road and collided heavily with a barrier, causing the stage to be cancelled, as he and co-driver Julien Ingrassia were able to emerge unscathed.
"We were in sixth gear on a long straight," recalled Ogier. "Then there was a slight corner to the right on a ridge.
"The jump was a little longer than we thought, the back took off when we touched down and I lost control of the car.
"Then we hit the roadside barrier and we landed in a ditch. The most important thing at the moment is that Julien and me are both okay."
Latvala, meanwhile, won five of the seven completed stages on Saturday and looks well-placed to claim his fourth victory of the season and second in succession following triumph on his home turf in Finland last time out.
Should Latvala finish the job on Sunday, he could close the gap on team-mate Ogier at the top of the standings to as little as 16 points with four races remaining.
Robert Kubica, of M-Sport, was the only other driver to claim a victory on Saturday, winning stages seven and 12, although the Pole remains down in 10th overall.
As at the end of day one, Citroen's Kris Meeke remains Latvala's closest challenger, the Brit regularly finishing inside the top three during Saturday's action.
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