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ERC NEWS 

Early crash ends Juho Hanninen's Intercontinental Rally Challenge title defence

Juho HanninenJuho Hanninen's Intercontinental Rally Challenge title defence has ended after the 2010 champion crashed out of the 2011 decider on the first full-length stage in Cyprus.

Hanninen went into the season finale six points behind Skoda team-mate and championship leader Jan Kopecky, having only contested a partial campaign this year while focusing on the S2000 World Rally Championship, which he clinched in Spain last month.

The following Thierry Neuville said Hanninen had gone off very early on the Koilinia stage and was too far off the road to rejoin.

"He went off on the second corner," said Neuville. "It's finished for him, it's not possible to come out. I'm sorry for him."

Rally leader Andreas Mikkelsen and Freddy Loix are now the other remaining title contenders along with Kopecky and Neuville.

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