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Martin wins in Finland.

Makinen commented: ''It's not been a perfect weekend for us but at least we've finished in the points. I have to say that Petter drove absolutely magnificently – he did a tremendous job.''

Over at Hyundai the two Accent WRC³s of Freddy Loix and Armin Schwarz and were generally reliable throughout the day. However, Jussi Valimaki retired 5.5kms into SS19 after hitting the same stone as Francois Duval.

All three cars had a steady run today, aimed firmly at getting to the finish. But Valimaki hit a rock and retired with suspension damage. Loix's 10th place and Schwarz's 12th place earned the team three manufacturers points.

''Although today wasn't such an exciting day as I had to protect my points,'' noted Loix, ''I'm very pleased to be in that position in Finland and this makes me more optimistic going to Australia that we can continue to move forward.''

Schwarz continued: ''We've had no major problems with the car throughout the event and to get to the finish here and get the extra manufacturers' point I consider to be a real success.''

Valimaki added: ''The first day was much better for me because I had a better feeling even though my times on the second day were quicker. On the final day the car felt great after changing the differential mapping a bit, although in the end we weren't able to take advantage of it.''

Both Skoda Fabia WRCs were forced into retirement before the final day. Didier Auriol did not start the rally on Friday morning as a result of an old shoulder injury. The other Fabia WRC of Toni Gardemeister retired at the start of SS13 as a result of engine damage.

Gardemeister started off yesterday in 12th place, which he held up until his retirement. His engine stalled on the start of SS13, and he could not get it going again despite the advice from his team over the telephone.

Of the other entries Daniel Carlsson has taken Suzuki's first-ever Junior World Rally Championship win ahead of Renault driver Brice Tirabassi. Ford driver Guy Wilks was third after an event that has been characterised by punctures for the JWRC runners.

Former World Champion Ari Vatanen has had an excellent rally in his privateer Peugeot 206 WRC and has finished 11th overall. Three local experts have filled out the top 10: Janne Tuohino (Ford Focus) in seventh, and the Peugeot 206 WRC of Sebastien Lindholm and Juuso Pykalisto in eighth and ninth.



Rally statistics:

Starters: 42 crews (31 Group A and 11 Group N) started this morning.

Top retirements: Duval (B), Valimaki (FIN).



Related Pictures

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