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Entry details for Neste Rally Finland published last week show an almost complete boycott by the top WRC2 drivers for the next round of the world championship.  

Regular WRC2 competitor Teemu Suninen will drive a World Rally Car in Finland.Of the top six drivers in the series at the moment, only one driver has entered the event on a WRC2 points scoring basis.

The reason for this strange situation on one of the championship’s most popular events comes from a new rule in which WRC2 drivers must enter three specific rounds of the series, within the seven rounds on which they are eligible for points.   

Two of these rounds are among the last four rounds of the WRC.   

Neste Rally Clerk of the Course, Kai Tarkiainen, says the situation was predictable in the circumstances.  65 crews are on the list, down from 76 starts last year and 84 in 2015.  

Teemu Suninen has his second drive in a World Rally Car, but there are no celebrity or nostalgia entries.  

At Citroen, the missing team driver this time will be Stephane Lefebvre, while team patron Sheikh Khalid Al Qassimi has only his second rally drive of the year.

There are a total of 28 R5 entries, almost half of which are not competing for championship points, but for enjoyment of spectators and competitors alike, there are no fewer than 64 entries for the concurrent free-formula clubmans’ Vetomies event.
- Martin Holmes                                     

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