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WRC NEWS 

Raikkonen finishes Arctic shakedown

Kimi RaikkonenKimi Raikkonen insists he has no particular target in mind for his first competitive outing at the wheel of the Citroen C4 WRC on this weekend's Arctic Rally, after completing the shakedown yesterday.

The 2007 Formula 1 world champion is using the first round of the Finnish championship as a warm-up for his inaugural World Rally Championship campaign with the Citroen Junior Team, which gets underway in Sweden in a fortnight's time.

Joining him on the event is Citroen's factory driver Dani Sordo, who will provide a useful benchmark a near-identical car.

"I don't have any special target," said Raikkonen at the pre-rally press conference in Rovaniemi. "This is just for learning. We will just drive and see how we are. There are many things to find out."

According to his co-driver Kaj Lindstrom, Raikkonen's biggest challenge will be learning to use pace notes: "You need the confidence to trust and commit to the notes," he said. "This is where we will improve most. But I have no doubt that Kimi has the speed."

Raikkonen completed yesterday's shakedown stage without any problems, taking just two runs through what will be his final preparation before his inaugural rally in the Citroen.

Raikkonen and Sordo will face little opposition on the event, as the overwhelming majority of entrants are driving Group N machinery. The opening stage of the rally gets underway at 12:23 (local time) today. The first car is due to enter parc ferme after leg one at 21:12 tonight.

The conditions for the event are perfect, with temperatures hovering around -20C and snow still falling.

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