WRC »

Hirvonen plots Cyprus fightback

Ford's Mikko Hirvonen admits he is hoping rain will stay away from the second leg of Rally Cyprus after ending day one of the event in third place.

Hirvonen ended the opening day of the mixed-surface event little more than a minute behind leader Sebastien Loeb and is 19 seconds behind second-placed Dani Sordo after the Citroen pair secured victory on all six stages.

With the opening day of the event being run on tarmac but using gravel tyres, the crews faced an extra challenge and Hirvonen admitted he had been too cautious during the morning as he lost more than 40 second to Loeb through the three tests.

However, when the stages were repeated during the afternoon, Hirvonen was closer to the pace and although outpaced by Loeb, the Finn minimised his losses to the Frenchman to less than 20 seconds and also remained close to Sordo in the fight for second.

With the Citroen pair ahead sweeping some gravel off the road during day two, Hirvonen will now hope to take advantage of his road position to close the gap to the drivers ahead, but he admitted that any advantage would be lost if the rain that affected the final stage of day one returned.

“It was a hard morning because the grip level changed all the time,” he said. “Although the roads were dry, the surface was dusty and they were slippery and unpredictable and I wasn't totally confident. My tyres felt they were losing their edge on the last stage so I drove more cautiously, but actually they were fine at the finish. I just wasn't used to the feeling of gravel tyres on asphalt.

“My driving was much better [this afternoon]. I got used to the conditions and the tyres but it was harder to find a rhythm on such twisty roads than I thought it would be. Tomorrow's stages are very rocky in places so I'm glad there is only one pass over each test. I hope it doesn't rain tonight. Third in the start order tomorrow in the dry will give me an advantage over the two drivers ahead who will have to sweep the loose gravel clear.

“If it rains then the advantage will be lost.”


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen(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

Start 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.




© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

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