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."
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