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NEWS FLASH: Petter Solberg out

Citroen privateer Petter Solberg has retired from day one of the Neste Oil Rally Finland following SS4.

Petter had been running second overall post-SS3, 7.1 seconds behind rally leader Mikko Hirvonen. However the Norwegian saw his day end prematurely in the subsequent test when he picked up a puncture near the end and got his Xsara WRC stuck in a ditch.

Although he eventually finished the stage - albeit having lost over 6 minutes - he later opted to withdraw from the day.

"Everything was going well but then we got a puncture which made us go wide just before the finish and into a ditch," Solberg explained prior to his withdrawal. "We now have to drive with one flat tyre on the road but we should be okay.

"The steering is a little bent but we should be fine so long as we can get through the next stage without any problems. If the rubber comes off the rim though we are in real problems," he added.

Solberg now hopes to re-join on Saturday under the SupeRally format, assuming his car isn't too badly damaged.

More to follow as we get it...



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