TRIER, Germany (AP) — Dani Sordo of Spain won the accident-marred Rally of Germany on Sunday for his first victory in the World Rally Championship series.

The Citroen driver ended nearly 10 years of frustration when Thierry Neuville of Belgium went off the road 3 kilometers (1.85 miles) from the finish in his Ford Fiesta. Neuville recovered to finish second.

Sordo earned his first victory after 34 podiums in 106 starts by 53 seconds.

"It's a great moment for me," Sordo said as he embraced his parents at the finish. "Thierry was pushing so hard. He was a little slower than me at first but then he was faster so I needed to push harder. I was so nervous at the start but this win is something I've dreamed of for many years."

Sordo's Citroen teammate Mikko Hirvonen of Finland was third, 2:36.1 back.

Neuville salvaged second place after trying to clinch victory in the final stage.

"Coming out of the forest, I mistook one fast left-hand corner in the vineyards for another and we went off," Neuville said.

Overall series leader Sebastien Ogier of France broke the suspension of his Volkswagen Polo on Friday to drop out of contention.

After the death of two drivers in a fringe event on Saturday, two spectators were hospitalized in another accident Sunday when they were hit by the Ford Fiesta of Subhan Aksa of Indonesia.

Aksa's car slid off the road and struck the two spectators, who were in an off-limit area. They suffered multiple fractures.

The last three stages on Saturday were abandoned after two Dutchmen died when their vintage Triumph TR7 crashed off the track in a demonstration event not connected to the championship.

Sordo's victory means Citroen has won every year since the German rally entered the championship in 2002.

Ogier holds a 75-point lead in the drivers' standings over Neuville, with four events remaining in the 13-race series.

 

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