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STOP PRESS: Hirvonen wins in Poland

BP Ford Abu Dhabi's Mikko Hirvonen took the victory on Rally Poland today and in doing so he takes over the lead in the race for the 2009 World Rally drivers' title.

Hirvonen began the final leg 12 seconds up on his team-mate, Jari-Matti Latvala, but in the end he won by over a minute, after his compatriot crashed out in the final test, the short 2.5 kilometre Mikolajki super special.

Hirvonen will now go to his home event in Finland at the end of next month, following the summer break, with a one point advantage over Sebastien Loeb in the drivers' standings.

Latvala's late gaff though hurts Ford, which had been on course for another 1-2 and a third maximum 18-point haul in succession.

It also won't do Jari-Matti's confidence much good as the runners-up spot appeared to be in the bag.

Citroen's Dani Sordo thus took a surprise runners-up spot. Sordo applied the pressure on the first loop on Saturday and kept Mikko and Jari-Matti honest. However he was unable to do the same on the repeat run on day 2 and was also no match for the Ford's on Sunday.

Henning Solberg and his brother, Petter were third and fourth respectively, both having gained not only from Latvala's exit, but also from the retirement of Sebastien Ogier. Ogier had been in front until he had engine problems in SS16.

Britain's Matthew Wilson rounded out the top five, followed by local hero and Stobart Ford 'guest driver', Krzysztof Holowczyc and then Sebastien Loeb.

Loeb had to re-start under the SupeRally on Saturday after crashing out in SS4. He then hauled himself back up to take two drivers' points and three manufacturers' points for Citroen. Admittedly though he had a helping hand on the last day, with Citroen Junior Team men, Conrad Rautenbach and Evgeny Novikov both slowing to allow the Frenchman passed. Rautenbach and Novikov came in eighth and ninth respectively.

Full report and result to follow...



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
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen(FIN), Ford Focus RS WRC08, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen(FIN), Ford Focus RS WRC08, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Podium, 1st Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC
Podium, 1st Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC
Podium 1st Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Anders Jaeger Synnevag (NOR) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Thierry Neuville (BEL) Nicolas Gilsoul (BEL) Hyundai i20 WRC
Michel Fabre (FRA) Maxine Vilmot (FRA) Citroen DS3 R3T
Jourdain Serderidis (GRC) Frderic Miclotte (BEL) Citroen DS3 R5
Jourdain Serderidis (GRC) Frderic Miclotte (BEL) Citroen DS3 R5
Michel Fabre (FRA) Maxine Vilmot (FRA) Citroen DS3 R3T
Jourdain Serderidis (GRC) Frderic Miclotte (BEL) Citroen DS3 R5
Jourdain Serderidis (GRC) Frderic Miclotte (BEL) Citroen DS3 R5
Jourdain Serderidis (GRC) Frderic Miclotte (BEL) Citroen DS3 R5
Michel Fabre (FRA) Maxine Vilmot (FRA) Citroen DS3 R3T
Jourdain Serderidis (GRC) Frderic Miclotte (BEL) Citroen DS3 R5
Jourdain Serderidis (GRC) Frderic Miclotte (BEL) Citroen DS3 R5
Michel Fabre (FRA) Maxine Vilmot (FRA) Citroen DS3 R3T
Michel Fabre (FRA) Maxine Vilmot (FRA) Citroen DS3 R3T

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Let Sebastien pass for the championship. Team orders? check Dumb*ss rules so you can still be on the points if you retire on friday, but not if you retire on the last stage? check Not enough good drivers and cars so you can finish on the points with 20 minute penalty? check WRC, no thanks.

richard

June 28, 2009 4:10 PM

super rally conditions were introduced due to there being so few top cars. seb showed that he could easily have won, but who slipped up with the pace notes? i dont like this team orders thing, but it is good to see that citroen can play ford at teir own game, for a change.



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