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WRC NEWS 

Raikkonen happy with Finland test

Kimi Raikkonen, Rally Finland testRed Bull driver Kimi Raikkonen has completed his final test ahead of next week's Rally Finland - the first World Rally Championship round the former Formula 1 world champion has experience of.

The 30-year-old Citroen Junior Team driver spent the last two days on roads close to Jyvaskyla, the base for the eighth round of this year's WRC, driving the C4 WRC he will use in competition next week.

Raikkonen contested Rally Finland last season, driving his own Abarth Grande Punto and running well in the Group N category before he crashed off the road.

Raikkonen said: "The test went really well, and it was great for us to have this experience before starting Rally Finland. Of course it helps a bit that I have done the rally last year, but the World Rally Car is such a step up from the Super 2000 car that it is like driving a completely different rally.

"We tested everything that we wanted to, and it was also useful to have the experience of preparing pace notes on these fast and technical roads. I'm really looking forward to Rally Finland: as a Grand Prix driver I never really got the chance to compete in the top class at home before, so I think that it's going to be a lot of fun.

"We made a few adjustments to the car during the test but nothing major: I think we are in a good position to start the rally now."

His experienced co-driver Kaj Lindstrom, who has competed on the Rally Finland 10 times, is also looking forward to the eighth round of this year's World Rally Championship.

"I have been lucky enough to have had some great memories of competing on the Rally Finland, but I'm sure that this is going to be a very special one too," said Lindstrom. "It's always a huge pleasure for me and for Kimi to drive in front of our home crowd, and we hope that we can give everybody something to remember.

"The pre-event test went very well and we have a good feeling with the car and the pace notes. But of course the real action starts a week on Friday!"

Raikkonen will now have a few days off before the recce for the Rally Finland gets underway on Tuesday 27 July. The rally starts in the evening of Thursday 29 July and finishes on Saturday 31 July: an innovation for the 60th anniversary of the event.

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