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Large snow falls in Sapporo over the last few days have resulted in the cancellation of two of the stages from Leg 1 of Rally Japan.

Rally organisers have decided to cancel SS3/7 due to safety reasons. Competitors will instead use an alternate road section to the start of the following stage, missing out on the longest competitive stages of the day, at 13.67km.

Meanwhile, Shakedown was held inside the Sapporo Dome last night, with Citroen driver Dani Sordo taking the honours, just 0.03 seconds ahead of Francois Duval. Aussie Chris Atkinson was seventh.

Best Shakedown times from each of the WRC drivers:

1. Sordo: 2:34.2

2. Duval: 2:34.5

3. Hirvonen: 2:34.6

4. H. Solberg: 2:35.0

5. Loeb: 2:35.1

6. P. Solberg: 2:35.1

7. Atkinson: 2:35.3

8. Latvala: 2:35.6

9. Villagra: 2:36.1

10. Gardemeister: 2:37.4

11. Wilson: 2:37.6

12. Andersson: 2:38.8

13. Rautenbach: 2:43.0

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