WRC »

Hirvonen up to second!

Ford opted to use rather extreme tactics on the final stage of the Rallye de France-Tour de Corse today in order to promote Mikko Hirvonen up to second and aid his - and the teams - title challenges.

Hirvonen had been second to event winner Sebastien Loeb pretty much throughout the three-days in Corsica, however, a puncture in the first test on Sunday cost him over a minute and dropped him behind fellow Ford runners Francois Duval and Jari-Matti Latvala, as well as Subaru's Petter Solberg.

With Solberg himself suffering a puncture in the next stage though, it left the way clear for the 'Blue Oval' to play with the final order and team boss Malcolm Wilson subsequently instructed both Duval and Latvala to let Hirvonen by.

Prior to the final test, the 26.32 kilometre Pietra Rossa-Verghia stage, Duval checked into the time control early and picked up a two minute penalty, while Latvala also purposely picked up a penalty by arriving at SS16 nine minutes late.

Mikko thus moved up from fourth to second and now scores 8 points, as opposed to the 5 he would have got for fourth. Going to Japan – the penultimate round in the series – the Finn will trail Loeb by 14 points in the race for the 2008 drivers' title.

The BP Ford Abu Dhabi WRT also gains an extra point as Jari-Matti was nominated for the Stobart Ford team this weekend. Ford lies 23 points behind Citroen in the manufacturers' post-round 13.

It is not the first time the M-Sport-run outfit has used tactics this year - and only last weekend did a similar thing in Spain, when Duval gave up his podium place to allow Hirvonen to finish third.

Is this taking things too far though?

Or is it understandable given just what is at stake?

Have your say – and post your views in the Crash.net comments section now...


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
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN), Malcolm Wilson, Managing Director, M-Sport
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

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


TOMMI - Unregistered

October 12, 2008 2:40 PM

10 victories out of 13 races and Loeb still not already crowned.....stupid point system, stupid politics.....Shame on the WRC which allow such practice, shame on Ford and Wilson, they are an embarassment and insult to Hirvonen!

Srdja Babic - Unregistered

October 12, 2008 1:32 PM

Fords''enormous budget surely does not approve bad management of resources including "supposed-to-be-faster-then-Loeb" guys like Hirvonen, Latvala and Duval. Why appointing Duval as tarmac specialist when he finishes after Hirvonen twice a week ? Was that justifiable ? Tricks just won''t get Mikko to top spot.



© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.