Hirvonen: Title fight in my own hands now

Mikko Hirvonen took his second win in as many events in Poland at the weekend - and after taking the lead in the battle for the 2009 World Rally drivers' championship, said 'everything is now possible'.

Hirvonen, who grabbed P1 in SS3 on Friday morning, held the top spot from then on, eventually taking the victory in his Ford Focus RS WRC car by over a minute after three-days of flat-out competition around the rally base in Mikolajki.

The result means he will now go to his home event in Finland at the end of next month with a slender one-point advantage over Sebastien Loeb, who crashed out on day 1, but who recovered to take seventh.

"This has been the best rally of the season so far," said Hirvonen. "The roads here are fast and narrow and the crowds provided a superb atmosphere. It's the first time I have won two consecutive rallies and it has put me into the lead of the championship ahead of my home rally in Finland. The weekend was perfect from start to finish.

"After Loeb's mistake on Friday, I thought I might have an easy drive but it wasn't to be. I had to drive flat out yesterday to stay ahead and it's a fantastic feeling to win after such a great fight.

"I started this morning determined to go flat out through the first loop of stages. When I saw the split times of the guys behind me I knew they weren't pushing so hard, so I was able to drive more cautiously.

"Everything is possible now regarding the championship. I'm in the lead, so it's in my own hands over the final four rounds.

"It will be very difficult, but I will try as hard as I can. If I have perfect rallies, then I get good results and I can fight for the title. All is possible. Maybe I can make it three wins in a row now in Finland."

As for the drama in the final stage, when his BP Ford Abu Dhabi team-mate, Jari-Matti Latvala crashed out with second place seemingly in the bag, Mikko and co-driver, Jarmo Lehtinen both said they were shocked by what had happened.

"I still cannot believe it," Hirvonen added. "It was definitely not something that you could expect. I do not know what to say. We had a great position. There was no need to take risks. It happened at a bad time."

"That is kind of a blank moment. I was surprised. We had no warning about this and we just carried on slowly to the finish. There was really no need to risk anything. It is just unbelievable," Lehtinen chipped in.

Tagged as: World Rally , Ford , Focus RS WRC

Related Pictures

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Podiu, Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen(FIN), Ford Focus RS WRC08, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team and Team
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Podium, Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen(FIN), Ford Focus RS WRC08, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Podium, Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen(FIN), Ford Focus RS WRC08, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
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Kenneth Ramsey

June 29, 2009 4:06 PM

It'll be very tough. In hindsight it probably would have been better swapping Hirvonen and JML around in Sardinia but who'd have have thought that Loeb would crash out again and Latvala would do what he done. Come on Miko!

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