It may be one, if not, the toughest events in the World Rally
Championship, but Mikko Hirvonen
is confident his Citroen
DS3 WRC car will be more than up to the task in Greece.
The Acropolis Rally has a reputation for being unforgiving and Friday's leg looks to be especially challenging, with only two remote service zones breaking up the day's eight stages and 170 odd competitive kilometres.
Despite that though, Hirvonen believes the French manufacturer will again be challenging for the win, although he concedes it is not an event he especially relishes.
“It's not my favourite rally, but I don't hate it either,” he remarked. “We are competing in a World Championship and we must therefore take part in rallies that are varied and representative of all types of surface.
“The Acropolis Rally is one of the major classics of the WRC and it has not lost its reputation for having the most difficult route. However, you have to say we are driving flat out pretty much the whole time!
“Obviously, we'll need to look after the engine and gearbox and the tyres, but I think that a significant part of the outcome is determined during the pre-rally preparatory tests. During these test sessions, you need to make sure the car is sufficiently robust to handle the difficult conditions.
“As the Citroen
DS3 WRCs managed a 1-2 finish last year, I'm not worried about our ability to challenge for the win.”
Indeed Hirvonen is feeling increasingly bullish as he gets more and more comfortable with his new team, having switch to Citroen
from Ford for WRC 2012.
“Rally Argentina [the previous event at the end of April] gave me the chance to take another step forward,” Hirvonen added. “I now feel totally comfortable in the quick sections. We have done a lot of work with the team and we have made some changes which are more to my liking. I feel very confident about the rest of the season.”