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Minggu, 02 Agustus 2009

Raikkonen crashes out of Rally Finland


2007 F1 World champion Kimi Raikkonen has crashed out of Rally Finland in the final stage on day two.

The Finn, who was making his debut in the World Rally Championship this weekend, had been running very well following an impressive performance on Friday, when he set eight top-20 stage times.

Having started this morning in 17th place overall, the Ferrari man was up to 15th post-SS18 and on course for a rostrum finish in Group N. However the 29.29 kilometre Vaarinmaja stage - the longest of the event - was to be his undoing when he rolled his Abarth Grande Punto S2000, crashing in the same place that caught out Adapta WRT's Mads Ostberg.

Raikkonen and co-driver Kaj Lindstrom, who formerly partnered multiple world rally champion Tommi Makinen, were both uninjured in the incident.

Speaking prior to his exit, Raikkonen had been unhappy with his car as the engine was playing up. Despite that though he still managed to increase his pace and posted two 14th best efforts in SS17 and SS18.

"We cannot do anything about our engine problems," said the Finn after the 12.75 kilometre Urria test, SS17. "The handling is okay now, but we don't have enough power. It is a real shame, as it would have been nice to have had a little bit more speed."

Meanwhile Patrik Flodin, who had been fighting with Raikkonen for 15th and P3 in the Production class - 15.1 seconds adrift, was disappointed to see the 'iceman' go out.

"I saw Kimi's car in the same place that Mads Ostberg went off and a lot of spectators were helping," Flodin added.

"It is a real shame that Kimi has gone off - it was a nice feeling to be rallying against him."

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