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Hirvonen: I have more to learn

Mikko Hirvonen admits he is still learning about the new Ford Fiesta RS WRC as he seeks to retain points lead in Portugal
Mikko Hirvonen insists he has plenty more to learn about the new Ford Fiesta RS WRC despite the fact that he will head to Rally Portugal next weekend leading the World Rally Championshio standings.

Hirvonen won the season opener in Sweden before finishing second to Sebastien Loeb in Mexico, putting him seven points clear of the defending champion going into the second European event of the campaign.

The Finn's best finish on Portuguese soil was second place back in 2009 and while is keen to at least match that result this time around, the 30-year-old admits it won't be easy.

"It's a challenging rally," he said. "There are many sections with corners hiding just over crests and it's tricky, but crucial, to ensure the pace notes are accurate. It's a rally in which the more you learn the stages, the more you can identify the sections where you can go faster.

"The roads have a hard base and are abrasive, so tyre wear could be an issue, especially if temperatures are high. The nature of the roads is similar to Mexico but the altitude is much lower in Portugal, so we'll have full power and everything will happen that bit faster. I'm still learning this car and when I hear a pace note, I hesitate a fraction while I understand what speed and gear that note means. My driving isn't totally instinctive yet." 




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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
Lorenzo Bertelli (ITA) Simone Scattolin (ITA) Ford RS WRC
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS 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
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
Mads Ostberg (NOR) Ola Floene (NOR) Ford Fiesta RS WRC

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Fitz - Unregistered

March 21, 2011 12:05 PM

Be interesting to see if Citroen dominates here. If so looks like it'll be a Loeb, Ogier and Solberg year. We all know who we would like to win (Solberg).



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