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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 March 2006, 15:16 GMT 16:16 UK
Rovanpera in for Panizzi at Skoda
Harri Rovanpera
Rovanpera's sole rally win was with Peugeot in Sweden in 2001
Harri Rovanpera has replaced Gilles Panizzi at Skoda Red Bull after the French veteran quit the team ahead of next month's Rally of Corsica.

Panizzi, 40, was frustrated by his 10th-place finish in last weekend's Rally of Catalunya, and claimed the Fabia WRC was uncompetitive.

"I no longer want to take risks just to finish in 10th place," he said.

Rovanpera drove for Mitsubishi last season and finished second in the Rally of Australia.

"This surely has to be my best birthday present ever," said the Finn who turns 40 during the WRC's Corsica leg next Saturday.

Skoda Red Bull moved swiftly to replace Panizzi, whose co-driver is brother Herve, claiming he had left the team "due to private family matters".

Panizzi made his world rally championship debut in Monte Carlo in 1990 and went on to win seven WRC events, including the Rally of Corsica in 2000.

An asphalt specialist, he drove for Mitsubishi in 2004 and 2005 after being dropped by Peugeot after the 2003 season.

He revealed that he had no plans to retire from rallying all together.

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