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Hirvonen and co impressed with Poland

Mikko Hirvonen has given WRC newcomer, Rally Poland, full marks following its return to the fold last weekend, the first time it has played a part since the inaugural championship way back in 1973.

More than 200,000 fans welcomed its return by swamping to the picturesque Mazurian Lake District, 250 kilometres from Warsaw in the north-east of the country, to watch the action and witness the WRC boys doing their stuff.

Speaking at the finish in Mikolajki, after taking his second win in succession and the lead in the race for the 2009 drivers' championship, Hirvonen said the organisers' had a lot to be proud about.

"I think it was a very good rally. It has been the best rally of the season so far. There were lots of spectators and standing in good places. There were no problems with traffic and we had really enjoyable stages," said the Finn.

"The roads here are fast and narrow and the crowds provided a superb atmosphere. Maybe some sections on the final day were a little too fast and not so interesting. They had long straights and flat corners. Maybe they can make a difference in the future but, otherwise, it was a good rally."

Hirvonen's co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen echoed those thoughts and was equally upbeat about the eighth round in the championship.

He did concede though that it is definitely not for the faint hearted and that the blisteringly fast gravel roads are especially tough.

"I have to admit this is one of the most difficult rallies I have done," Lehtinen confirmed. "Timing the pace notes is very difficult here. You are going so fast that you need to concentrate hard.

"You need to deliver the notes in correct time. It was very challenging and I was getting better all the time.

"This event has gone straight into the top three in my mind for all the rallies in the World Rally Championship."

Fellow Ford men Henning Solberg and Matthew Wilson meanwhile were also positive: "This rally has some fantastic stages but it's also been very difficult," Henning chipped in.

"The stages here have been amazing and the number of people here watching has just been incredible," Wilson Jr summed-up. "They really like their rallying here in Poland.

"One of the biggest challenges has been adjusting my brain to the speed of the stages here."

So did you attend the event?

What did you think of Rally Poland?

Post your views in the Crash.net comments section.



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Sebastien Loeb (FRA), Citroën C4, Citroën Total World Rally Team and Mikko Hirvonen (FIN), Ford Focus RS WRC08, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Rally Poland, atmosphere
Rally Poland, atmosphere
Rally Poland, atmosphere
Rally Poland, atmosphere
Rally Poland, atmosphere
Rally Poland, atmosphere
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

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Grant - Unregistered

July 04, 2009 10:02 AM

Rally Poland looked good to me. Couldn't go unfortunately - but on TV the stages looked fast and challenging. New events/new tests seem to spice things up as well (as shown in Poland and before that in Greece) - maybe that is something the ISC should take note of and ensure all events use new stages every year. Might be one way to slow down Sebastien Loeb anyway!



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