Belgian WRC driver Thierry Neuville escaped a spectacular crash on Thursday. File photo: Thomas Frey.

Belgian driver Thierry Neuville and his co-driver escaped uninjured after a spectacular crash in Thursday's Rally of Germany shakedown when their Hyundai i20 rolled six times before coming to rest in a vineyard.

Neuville and Nicolas Gilsoul came unstuck at a double left corner on their run at the 4.6 kilometre test that acts as a curtain raiser to Friday's first stage.

Hyundai mechanics will have to work through the night to ensure Neuville's heavily damaged car makes it to the start line.

Fortunately for the South Korean team they do not have to get the car running in time for the rally's opening ceremony in Trier later Thursday.

Jari-Matti Latvala was fastest, the Finn leading a Volkswagen clean sweep of the podium places from defending world champion Sebastien Ogier and Andreas Mikkelsen.