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Hirvonen secures record in Wales.

Mikko Hirvonen recovered from his dramatic roll on the opening day of Wales Rally GB to secure a place in the points – taking a place in the WRC record books in the process.

Hirvonen lost more than five minutes on day one after the accident on the second run through Sweet Lamb, which also left him with a damaged car for the remaining stages before the overnight service halt.

"I drove through the famous watersplash near the end of the stage and I knew it would throw the car sideways, but it threw me further than I expected," he said at the end of day one. "The car hit a bank and rolled onto its roof. The spectators weren't allowed to help us push the car back onto its wheels and it took us nearly four minutes to get going again."

It left the Finn well down the order going into the second day of the event, but he was soon making up places and had climbed to ninth by the end of day two.

With Henning Solberg then forced out on the penultimate stage of the event after damaging his suspension, Hirvonen was able to take the final points scoring position in eighth place – making him the first driver in WRC history to score points on every event during the season.

"There was more ice than yesterday and when the sun came up it polished the surface," he said. "I had two or three close escapes but that's acceptable in these unpredictable conditions.

"I want to thank the whole team for helping me to second in the championship. I've had no major mechanical problems this season thanks to such a reliable car and the team has done a fantastic job.

"To claim this scoring record is a great achievement and I want to move into next year and challenge for the title again. I feel stronger after this season and more ready to fight for the world title again."

To see pictures of Hirvonen's day one roll, CLICK HERE .


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