Citroen's Mikko Hirvonen
is 'hoping' his luck will change on the Acropolis Rally of Greece later this month, after the 'bitter disappointment' of Rally Argentina.
The Finn had been running second overall, just 8.9 seconds behind team-mate and eventual winner, Sebastien Loeb, when his rally unravelled mid-way through.
First he lost over 30 seconds with a puncture in SS8 on Friday afternoon, but then worse was to come, and in the following stage, SS9, the 39.16 km Amboy-Yacanto test, electrical gremlins saw him concede nearly 6 minutes. That dropped him right out of the fight, and while he still took sixth - and took a bonus point after setting the third best time in the Power Stage - his demeanour at the end wasn't, unsurprisingly, particular chipper.
“Obviously, it's bitterly disappointing. I knew that a lot of things would happen, but unfortunately things haven't worked out in our favour,” said Hirvonen, who now trails Sebastien Ogier
in the title race by 65 points.
Asked about the final day, he added: “It was okay, the weather was nice, there were lots of spectators, and the stages are quite legendary. I just tried to have a good rhythm and enjoy it as much as I could [after what happened on Friday].
“It was just a normal steady pace [given I was so far off P5 and so far ahead of P6]. But on this type of surface, where it is a little bit soft and sandy, the car is working really well and so it is not so difficult to push and make a good time.
“My pace was good and the car was perfect today. That is a positive thing. We just have to try again now.
“It is quite frustrating [how this season has gone so far] – just small things are going wrong all the time. Hopefully it is going to change in Greece,” he concluded.