Trier - Spain's Dani Sordo seized the lead in the Rally of Germany on Saturday but the race was overshadowed by a fatal accident which left two competitors dead.
Organisers cancelled the final stage of the day when two Dutch drivers, taking part in a support race to the main world championship event, died after their vehicle was involved in a heavy crash.
Sordo had earlier taken the lead of the race after title hopeful Jari-Matti Latvala crashed out in a collision with Thierry Neuville, who also came off the road, on a rain-hit bend.
A brake disc was ripped from Latvala's Volkswagen Polo in the accident while Neuville's Ford Fiesta suffered just a dent although the Belgian completed the 12th stage with a log jammed underneath the rear of the car.
"You couldn't see the corner, it was so slippery," said Neuville.
"Latvala touched and we touched the same. I saw his brake disc in the corner. I tried to slow down but it was too late and we weren't pushing.
"It was second gear, that was all. I couldn't avoid it. It was like ice and many drivers will have problems there."
World championship leader Sebastien Ogier had retired from the race on Friday.
Meanwhile, organisers said the Dutch duo died after their vehicle, taking part in an historic car event, plummeted off the track.
"The car, driven by a Dutch pairing, left the route near the Gina crest," said a statement.
"The emergency services were on the scene immediately to assist but despite their best efforts the injuries sustained by both the driver and passenger proved fatal. No one else was involved in the incident.
"Everyone associated with the event extends their deepest sympathies and condolences to the families, friends and individuals who are being touched by today's terrible tragedy."