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Q&A: Mikko Hirvonen - Ford: EXCLUSIVE.

TO HEAR THE INTERVIEW IN FULL WITH MIKKO HIRVONEN: CLICK HERE


Mikko Hirvonen finds himself in uncharted territory this year, fighting tooth and nail for the World Rally Championship drivers' crown with the reigning 'king' Sebastien Loeb. As he heads now to Finland, for his home event and the ninth round in the WRC, he does so as championship leader. Crash.net Radio's Russell Atkins spoke to the BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team man recently at the Goodwood Festival of Speed...


Crash.net:
Mikko, how are you enjoying being here at the Goodwood Festival of Speed?

Mikko Hirvonen:
It is really relaxed. We are doing some driving and having fun with the cars, signing some autographs and talking to people. It is really, really good.

Crash.net:
Are you taking the car on both the rally stage and up the hill?

MH:
Yeah we are doing both - the hill climb and the rally stage. Okay, the car has not got gravel suspension, so we are just sliding around on the hill climb - but I am sure it is good fun for the spectators.

Crash.net:
Obviously looking back on the year so far, you must be very pleased?

MH:
It has been a fantastic first half. We are leading and while there are some tarmac rallies coming, there are some very good gravel rallies to come too. I think it is going to be an interesting fight now in the second half of the season.

Crash.net:
Did you expect to be in this position at the start of the year?

MH:
I thought if everything goes perfectly we had a chance to fight against Sebastien. It's not been perfect, but he has had some problems as well. I think we have just been consistent enough scoring points in every rally and here we leading.

Crash.net:
Sebastien Loeb is a very tough rival isn't he?

MH:
He is very difficult to beat. But I am going to give it my best shot.

Crash.net:
What are the strong points of the Focus compared to the Citroen?

MH:
Both cars are very reliable and that is why we are so close in the points. We haven't had any problems really with the car to slow us down. That is one of the key things nowadays.

Crash.net:
You mentioned the asphalt events coming up. Sebastien Loeb traditionally does very well on those rounds. Can you beat him on tarmac?

MH:
It is going to be very difficult. He has been the man to beat on tarmac for the last two to three years. We will see what I can do.

Crash.net:


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN), Ford Focus RS WRC07, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Bjorn Waldegard shows Mikko Hirvonen around the Ford Escort RS1800. Goodwood Festival of Speed. July 2008 [Pic credit: FORD / worldrallypics.com]
Mikko Hirvonen. BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT. Goodwood Festival of Speed. July 2008 [Pic credit: FORD / worldrallypics.com]
Elfyn Evans and Gwyndaf Evans. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: John Sulman]
Tribute parade for Bjorn Waldegard. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: RallyingOnline Ltd - www.rallygallery.com]
Metro 6R4 celebrations. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: RallyingOnline Ltd - www.rallygallery.com]
Markku Alen. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: RallyingOnline Ltd - www.rallygallery.com]
Markko Martin. Richard Tuthill Porsche 997 RGT. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: RallyingOnline Ltd - www.rallygallery.com]
Kajetan Kajetanowicz - LOTOS Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5
Harri Toivonen. Metro 6R4. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: RallyingOnline Ltd - www.rallygallery.com]
Kajetan Kajetanowicz - LOTOS Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5
Gwyndaf Evans. MML Sports Mitsubishi WRC05. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: RallyingOnline Ltd - www.rallygallery.com]
Elfyn Evans. M-Sport Fiesta R5. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: RallyingOnline Ltd - www.rallygallery.com]
Elfyn Evans and Gwyndaf Evans. Interview stage. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: RallyingOnline Ltd - www.rallygallery.com]
Petter Solberg edges Mattias Ekstrom by 5/1000ths of a second in the German round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship
Yazeed Al-Rahji - Ford Fiesta RRC
First corner Rallycross action
Podium: 1st Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Antilla (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Ola Floene Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Jost Capito, Team Principal, Volkswagen Motorsport

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