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Roll cage damage forces Solberg out of WRC Rally Finland

Hyundai Motorsport has withdrawn Oliver Solberg’s WRC entry from Rally Finland after an FIA inspection revealed roll cage damage to the i20 N following a heavy crash on Friday morning.

Oliver Solberg, Hyundai World Rally Team

Fabien Dufour / Hyundai Motorsport

Solberg crashed out of the rally only 300 metres into the day’s first forest stage when the rear of his car snapped mid corner sending him wide and into a ditch.

The car then hit a rock pitching the i20 N into a roll before landing on its wheels on the other side of the road.

Images of the vehicle on social media confirmed the car had suffered extensive damage before Hyundai revealed that the i20 N's roll cage had been damaged in the impact.

For safety reasons the car will not be repaired, meaning Solberg will suffer his third retirement of the rookie season, after exits in Monte Carlo and Croatia.

“Unfortunately Oliver Solberg and Elliott Edmondson will not be able to continue Rally Finland,” read a statement from Hyundai. “The team checked the car together with the FIA and as the roll cage is too damaged - for safety reasons - we decided to retire.”

Speaking to Motorsport.com, an emotional Solberg explained the incident.

“The story is simple." he said. “It was a normal corner from the start and halfway through the rear just snapped and then I knew from there I had no grip to save it.”

Asked if it is difficult to judge when the rear of the car will step out, he replied, “That is when I should back off and do what Thierry [Neuville} does but I do not want to do that, but I need to show speed.

“That is what is difficult at the moment you need to show speed, but you need to finish, but the car is so difficult to drive. It is difficult to find the balance and these things happen like in Croatia as well. It is not easy.”

Following’s Solberg’s retirement, Hyundai has two remaining Rally1 cars in the battle, with Ott Tanak currently leading the rally while Neuville is seventh overall.

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