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Hirvonen heads qualifying in Finland

31 July 2013

Mikko Hirvonen will have his choice of starting order for the latest round of the World Rally Championship after posting the quickest time in qualifying for Rally Finland.

The Citroen driver was fastest through the 4.62km Ruuhimaki test at the wheel of his DS3 WRC which enabled him to outpace championship leader Sebastien Ogier to top spot by just 0.248secs.

“It was an OK stage, but it could have been better,” the Finn admitted. “I have no idea about what road position to choose, so I don't know if it was good to be fastest here or not.”

Thierry Neuville was an impressive third quickest and fastest of the Ford men despite almost stalling his Fiesta at the start of the stage, with fellow Ford driver Evgeny Novikov settling for fourth.

By contrast, Jari-Matti Latvala – tipped by man as the man to beat for Volkswagen this weekend – was only fifth having compained about being too cautious, with Andreas Mikkelsen, Mads Ostberg and Juho Hanninen rounding out the top eight.

Ahead of his one off outing for Citroen in place of Khalid Al-Qassimi, Kris Meeke was ninth quickest and went through the qualifying test a tenth of a second quicker than Dani Sordo.

Rally Finland - Qualifying stage:

1. Mikko Hirvonen Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC 2m 15.516s M
2. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +00m 00.248s M
3. Thierry Neuville Qatar WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00m 00.437s M
4. Evgeny Novikov Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00m 00.500s M
5. Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Motorsport Polo R WRC +00m 00.742s M
6. Andreas Mikkelsen Volkswagen Motorsport II Polo R WRC +00m 00.974s M
7. Mads Ostberg Qatar M-Sport WRT Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00m 01.371s M
8. Juho Hanninen Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00m 01.417s
9. Kris Meeke Abu Dhabi Citroen Total WRT DS3 WRC +00m 01.835s M
10. Dani Sordo Citroen Total Abu Dhabi WRT DS3 WRC +00m 01.906s M
11. Jarkko Nikara MINI John Cooper Works WRC +00m 02.673s
12. PG Andersson Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00m 03.294s
13. Martin Prokop Jipocar Czech National Team Ford Fiesta RS WRC +00m 04.723s M
14. Riku Tahko MINI John Cooper Works WRC +00m 08.002s

all times unofficial


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