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Mikko: Second would keep me in hunt for crown.

Mikko Hirvonen has finished day two of the Rallye de France-Tour de Corse in second place - and while he was disappointed not to be able to take the fight to Sebastien Loeb, he knows the result will keep his slim championship hopes alive.

Hirvonen, who began the second leg narrowly in front of his team-mate, Francois Duval, slipped to third initially, but he re-took P2 in SS8 and increased the margin to 5.6 seconds in the afternoon. He eventually ended the day with a 4.3 second cushion.

"This morning I thought that if everything went well, then I could keep ahead of Francois and that's how it turned out," the Finn reflected. "I don't think either of us was driving at 110 per cent this afternoon but nothing is certain so I'll drive hard tomorrow.

"The stages were tricky today and I slid around and missed some braking points on the slippery gravel sections. There was more gravel on the stages and the roads were more abrasive.

"Tomorrow's roads are quite similar. They are very bumpy in places so I will need to be careful. Second would be very important to maintain my challenge for the drivers' championship. I have to accept that I can't beat Sebastien Loeb here, so I would be happy with second."

Francois Duval meanwhile, no doubt aware that team orders would come into play anyway - as they did in Spain last weekend - has said that he won't try and fight for P2 on Sunday.

Indeed he added that there is little to be gained by them taking risks in an attempt to beat each other, especially as the BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT needs as many points as possible to close the 27-point gap to Citroen in the manufacturers'.

"I want Ford to score as many points as possible and Mikko has the advantage over me here," Duval conceded. "Second would be important for him also in the drivers' championship, so I prefer not to take risks and stay on the road.

"I expected to be faster than him this morning but he's very quick on asphalt this year. I was happy to win the last stage. I softened the suspension settings at lunchtime but it didn't really work so I made some changes before the final stage and it paid off. Tomorrow's stages are difficult so I don't intend pushing hard and taking risks. Third would be a good result for me."


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen(FIN), Ford Focus RS WRC07, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - 1st place Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN)-Miikka Anttila (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, 2nd place Ott Tanak (EAU)-Martin Jarveoja (EST),Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - 1st place Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN)-Miikka Anttila (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, 2nd place Ott Tanak (EAU)-Martin Jarveoja (EST),Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Jukka KETOMÄKI (FIN) - Jarkko ALANEN (FIN) Skoda Fabia R5
12.02.2017 - Gus GREENSMITH (GBR) - Craig PARRY (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5
12.02.2017 - Gus GREENSMITH (GBR) - Craig PARRY (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5
12.02.2017 - Hiroki ARAI (JPN) - Glenn MACNEALL (AUS) Ford Fiesta R5, Tommi Mäkinen Racing
12.02.2017 - Alexey LUKYANUK (RUS) - Alexey ARNAUTOV (RUS) Ford Fiesta R5
12.02.2017 - Eric Camilli (FRA)-Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Eric Camilli (FRA)-Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Eric Camilli (FRA)-Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Emil BERGKVIST (SWE) - Joakim SJÖBERG (SWE) Citroën DS3 R5
12.02.2017 - Emil BERGKVIST (SWE)  Citroën DS3 R5
12.02.2017 - Jarosław KOLTUN (POL) - Ireneusz PLESKOT (POL) Ford Fiesta R5, C‐Rally
12.02.2017 - Eyvind BRYNILDSEN (NOR) - Anders FREDRIKSSON (SWE) Ford Fiesta R5 Adapta Motorsport AS
12.02.2017 - Ole Christian VEIBY (NOR) Skoda Fabia R5, Printsport
12.02.2017 - Ole Christian VEIBY (NOR) - Stig Rune SKJÆRMOEN (NOR) Skoda Fabia R5, Printsport
12.02.2017 - Ole Christian VEIBY (NOR) - Stig Rune SKJÆRMOEN (NOR) Skoda Fabia R5, Printsport

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