Mikko Hirvonen's hopes of a victory on his home round of the World Rally Championship season have taken a hit after the Ford man ran into problems on the opening stage of the event.

The Finn hit a tree on the 23.76km run through the Lankamaa test - the longest of the event - after sliding off the road when his Fiesta RS WRC lost power.

Damage to the brakes and suspension meant he lost 38.1secs to quickest man Jari Ketomaa with two more stages to follow before the cars return to service and repairs can be carried out.

"We went into one left-hander and the engine died," Hirvonen said. "We went wide, hit a tree lost all the brakes. The suspension is also damaged."

Ketomaa, driving a Fiesta RS WRC, led Citroen's Sebastien Ogier by 0.2secs after the opening stage.


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