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Hirvonen hopeful of strong start

Mikko Hirvonen heads to Sweden in confident mood as he looks to knock Sebastien Loeb off the top of the WRC pile
Mikko Hirvonen says he is full of confidence heading into the opening round of the World Rally Championship in Sweden.

The BP Ford Abu Dhabi driver, who has a best finish of second in the event, heads into the new season looking to try and end Sebastien Loeb's run of championship glory – with the Frenchman having secured six successive titles.

Hirvonen came close to ending the Frenchman's dominant run last year only to finish the season just one point behind and he admitted that he will be more aggressive during the season ahead in the quest to lift the crown.

"On occasions I wasn't brave enough to make the decisions I needed to with my car set-up or to drive more aggressively," he said. "I've learned from that and this year there will be no second thoughts. The difference between myself and the title winner last year was a single point. That translates to tiny decisions on the stages but it's those small things that make the difference between winning and coming second, and when you're brave enough to take the chances, you can feel the difference.

"Sweden is a great rally for me to start the year. A driver can be more free in the snow because there is no need to be quite so precise with driving lines as on gravel or asphalt. You can carry more speed into the corners and use the snow banks to guide the car round. The grip is incredible. If the ice is slightly soft then the studded tyres bite really well and it's a crazy feeling to drive so fast in such slippery conditions, knowing there is as much grip as on a gravel road.”

Hirvonen heads to Sweden with one win under his belt already this season, having taken victory in the opening round of the IRC season in Monte Carlo at the wheel of an M-Sport run Fiesta S2000.


Tagged as: Ford , Mikko Hirvonen , Sweden

Related Pictures

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Mikko Hirvonen (FIN), Ford Focus RS WRC08, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - 1st place Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN)-Miikka Anttila (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, 2nd place Ott Tanak (EAU)-Martin Jarveoja (EST),Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - 1st place Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN)-Miikka Anttila (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, 2nd place Ott Tanak (EAU)-Martin Jarveoja (EST),Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Gus GREENSMITH (GBR) - Craig PARRY (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5
12.02.2017 - Gus GREENSMITH (GBR) - Craig PARRY (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5
12.02.2017 - Hiroki ARAI (JPN) - Glenn MACNEALL (AUS) Ford Fiesta R5, Tommi Mäkinen Racing
12.02.2017 - Alexey LUKYANUK (RUS) - Alexey ARNAUTOV (RUS) Ford Fiesta R5
12.02.2017 - Eric Camilli (FRA)-Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Eric Camilli (FRA)-Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Eric Camilli (FRA)-Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Jarosław KOLTUN (POL) - Ireneusz PLESKOT (POL) Ford Fiesta R5, C‐Rally
12.02.2017 - Eyvind BRYNILDSEN (NOR) - Anders FREDRIKSSON (SWE) Ford Fiesta R5 Adapta Motorsport AS
12.02.2017 - Podium WRC 2, 1st place Pontus Tidemand (SWE)-Jonas Andersson (SWE) Skoda Fabia R5 WRC2, Skoda Motorsport, 2nd place Teemu SUNINEN (FIN) - Mikko MARKKULA (FIN) Ford Fiesta R5, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Ole Christian VEIBY (NOR) - Stig Rune SKJÆRMOEN (NOR) Skoda Fabia R5, Printsport
12.02.2017 - Teemu SUNINEN (FIN) - Mikko MARKKULA (FIN) Ford Fiesta R5, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Teemu SUNINEN (FIN) - Mikko MARKKULA (FIN) Ford Fiesta R5, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Teemu SUNINEN (FIN) - Mikko MARKKULA (FIN) Ford Fiesta R5, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Henning Solberg (NOR)- Ilka Minor (AUT) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
12.02.2017 - Mads Ostberg (NOR)-Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team

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