WRC »

Hirvonen readies for tough challenge

Mikko Hirvonen says he feels the next round of the World Rally Championship in Cyprus this weekend will provide a unique challenge thanks to fact it will run as a mixed-surface event.

The opening day of the event will run on tarmac before switching to gravel for leg two and three, with Cyprus becoming the first mixed-surface rally in the WRC since 1996.

The difficulty will come from the fact that regulations dictate that crews will be forced to use Pirelli gravel tyres throughout the weekend and will therefore tackle the tarmac on day one on the 'wrong' tyres.

With that in mind, Hirvonen and Ford team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala carried out extensive testing in Sardinia ahead of the event but the 28-year-old said he expected a tough weekend as the teams face up to the challenge of the third round of the year.

“It's going to be difficult but a lot depends on how hot it is,” he said. “The temperatures during our test were about 10ºC and the tyres worked well. The car moves around more on gravel rubber and it's necessary to turn into corners earlier and to brake sooner. It's difficult to predict what will happen because we've never had to do this but I'm ready for the challenge.

“I found a good set-up for the gravel stages during the test. The stages in Cyprus are so twisty that there are sections where a driver thinks he's going too slowly. But to push too hard risks the car sliding wide and losing momentum. It's important to be patient and believe that other drivers are having just the same thoughts. It's said a lot, but this rally is unique in the championship.”


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN), Ford Focus RS WRC08, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Eric Camilli (FRA) Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Eric Camilli (FRA) Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Eric Camilli (FRA) Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta RS WRC

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.


Dafydd Larcombe - Unregistered

March 10, 2009 10:02 AM

I am hoping that this will be the first Victory of the season for BP Ford this weekend. Its going to be very difficult to beat Citroen, esecially on the Asphalt of day one. I think they can be quicker on the second and third day but I can see Sebastien carving almost a twenty second lead on day one. It will be a tough and very technical event and we all know who is the best at technical events dont we. I also think Petter could be the dark horse here, his fully active car with a fresh engine and new dampers courtesy of Ohlins could spring a nasty suprise on the top works teams. It will be interesting to say the least.



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

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