WRC »

Hirvonen to bring up century in Mexico

Mikko Hirvonen looks to defend the championship lead as the WRC heads for Mexico – and the Ford drivers 100th event
Mikko Hirvonen will look to extend his championship advantage in Mexico as the World Rally Championship leader gets set for his 100th WRC start.

Hirvonen made the perfect start to his 2010 campaign in Sweden by securing victory ahead of main rival Sebastien Loeb, taking Ford level at the top of the all-time standings with a 74th win for the blue oval in the process.

The Finn has yet to win on Mexican soil, with a best finish of third back in 2007, and admits it will be a challenge to run first on the road, although he said he was still hopeful of battling for the win to celebrate his centenary.

"Leading the championship can have its disadvantages, and I now run first on the road for the opening gravel rally of the season,” he said. “My rivals have better road positions than me so it will be difficult, but I'll still try to find a way to challenge for the win. I'm not underestimating the difficulties, but I wouldn't swap my win in Sweden for a better start seeding.

"Sweden was the perfect start to the championship for both me and the team. It's important that we build on that in Mexico and continue to take the brave decisions that paid off in the opening round. The first gravel rally of the season is always an interesting one because, with the majority of the championship on that surface, it gives pointers as to how the season may play out."

Team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala also has a Mexican podium to his name and having taken third in Sweden, the youngster will be keen to add more solid points to his tally, although he concedes that the event will be one of the more difficult on the calendar.

"Mexico's high altitude affects the engine's performance and because there is less power, the car takes longer to reach top speed,” he said. “It's important to keep the correct line through corners, particularly in uphill sections, because a mistake costs more time than usual while the engine regains its power. The roads are generally wide and fast but there are twisty sections during Saturday's stages. They're not rough, but there are many small river crossings where the water runs down from the mountains that have a concrete base. When you hit them at speed they can damage the car."



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Ford Focus RS WRC08, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Antilla (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R 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
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Antilla (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R 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
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.


Affro29

March 04, 2010 10:38 PM

IMHO Sordo has more chance of being struck by lightning than winning this weekend. I think Loeb will win, followed by Hirvonen and then Latvala. Perhaps Petter is past his absolute peak, but he is 'only' 35 and performed magnificently last year. He has an even better car this year, and anyone, however good, needs 2 or 3 rallies to really get to grips with a new car. He's also a past winner here, and I expect a strong performance, possibly a podium. I hope we all get to see a good, close fight :)



© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.