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Hirvonen: Leading isn't ideal

Mikko Hirvonen admitted that running first on the road on the second day of the Acropolis Rally wouldn't work in his favour after the Ford man found himself in a surprising lead at the end of day one.

Hirvonen had been running second on the road through the first five stages, but was able to open up an advantage over title rival Sebastien Loeb heading into the final test of the day.

However, the final stage saw team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala go off the road while leading and Dani Sordo slow to secure a better road position, which promoted a surprised Hirvonen into the lead of the event.

As a result, he will now face the prospect of road-sweeping through the second day while Loeb looks to make the most of third on the road to close a gap of just over 20 seconds.

"The gravel was so loose and slippery in places everything seemed to happen in slow motion," he said. "The car has been perfect and I was counting on ending the day in second or third tonight to have a good start position tomorrow. I was surprised to find myself in first, and while it's good to lead, it will be difficult tomorrow cleaning the roads.

“Tomorrow's stages are slower and steeper, with plenty of hairpins so the nature of them won't work in our favour, but this is the toughest round of the season and there are plenty of twists and turns to come yet – in many senses."


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

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