BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team number one driver Mikko Hirvonen has crashed out of the lead of Rally Finland in the third stage of the day, rolling his Focus RS WRC car multiple times.
According to initial reports, the Finn lost control 9 kilometres into SS4 - the 12.75 kilometre run through Urria 2. Mikko and co-driver, Jarmo Lehtinen both escaped uninjured, but their car was badly damaged.
Hirvonen had started brilliantly this morning, setting the pace in SS2 and SS3, to grab top spot from Petter Solberg, who won SS1 yesterday evening. Going into SS4, Hirvonen had been leading by 4.9 seconds.
Hirvonen's exit promoted Solberg back into P1, and he now heads Jari-Matti Latvala by 3.1 seconds.
Dani Sordo lies third, 5.5 seconds further back, followed by fellow Citroen men Sebastien Loeb and Sebastien Ogier, both less than a second off P3. Henning Solberg completes the top six for Stobart Ford, albeit 10.5 seconds off Ogier.
The morning loop now concludes with a repeat run through the 22.29 kilometre Jukojarvi test, before competitors return to Paviljonki for the mid-day service.
More to follow later...