Rally Finland: Sebastien Ogier crashes on opening day

World Rally champion Sebastien Ogier has crashed out of contention for a Rally Finland podium on the opening day

Rally Finland: Sebastien Ogier crashes on opening day

The Volkswagen driver was holding on to third despite the disadvantage of running first on the road, but he went off on the Surkee stage.

Ogier called the incident a "stupid mistake" after going off at a hairpin and getting stuck in a ditch.

The incident occurred at a spot with relatively few spectators, so Ogier and co-driver Julien Ingrassia had limited help getting their Polo R WRC back on the course.

He eventually got going after a delay of 16 minutes, dropping him out of realistic points contention.

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Ogier has finished every WRC rally so far this year, taking a podium on each event bar the last round in Poland, where he was sixth.

His last accident occurred in Catalunya last October, when he famously crashed out of the lead on the final stage.

Though Ogier has not won since Sweden in February, having been hamstrung by the current running order regulations putting him first on the dusty roads for most of each rally, he still went into Finland with a 51-point championship lead over Andreas Mikkelsen.

Kris Meeke continues to lead the rally by 18 seconds over Jari-Matti Latvala.

Ogier's delay means Mikkelsen is now third, with Thierry Neuville just 0.6s behind him.

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