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Hirvonen: Sweden victory means nothing if we can’t build on it

Mikko Hirvonen: 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. My rivals have better road positions so the first leg will be tough...

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.”



Related Pictures

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Mikko Hirvonen (FIN), Ford Fiesta RS WRC,  BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Podium Rally Sweden, Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN), Ford Fiesta RS WRC,  BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN), Ford Fiesta RS WRC,  BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN), Ford Fiesta RS WRC,  BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN), Ford Fiesta RS WRC,  BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN), Ford Fiesta RS WRC,  BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team

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slightlysideways

March 03, 2011 5:17 PM

It's anyone's guess who will win this rally. Citroen have done very well there in the past, but at the same time Ford have sharpened up their act with the car. Lab testing the engine and the new six speed gearbox should pay dividends. Loeb and Ogier will be fast and consistent, which is why my best guess is they will win this rally what with road position and all.



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