Mikko Hirvonen has vowed to try and find a way to challenge for the victory on Rally Mexico this weekend.
Hirvonen got his season off to a brilliant start by winning the 2011 WRC opener in Sweden last month, heading home a Ford 1-2-3. However, the WRC now swaps snow for gravel and as the championship leader, Mikko will be first in the start order for the opening leg. That means he will have to play road sweeper on the first day, cleaning the line for his rivals behind. The 30-year-old though is not too bothered.
“Leading the championship can have its disadvantages and one of those is to start first on the road for the opening gravel rally of the year,” said the Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team man, who has competed in Mexico five times.
“My rivals have better road positions so the first leg will be tough, but I'll still try to find a way to challenge for victory again.
“This is the third consecutive Rally Mexico that I've been in this position, so I'm used to it. I'm not underestimating the difficulties, but even if I had the option, I wouldn't swap my win in Sweden for a better seeding in Mexico.”
Despite Hirvonen's success in Sweden though, he isn't one to rest on his laurels: “A win on the car's debut was the perfect start for myself and the team, but it means nothing if we don't build upon that in Mexico,” he warned.
“It's not an easy rally because the altitude affects the performance of the cars. We've not enjoyed the best results there in recent years but I believe the new car will give us a better chance to fight for a win.
“The Fiesta RS WRC uses a six-speed gearbox and that should help us make the most of the power that is available.”