Citroen's Mikko Hirvonen
is hoping 'luck' will be on his side this week in Greece as he looks to claim his first win of the season and kick start his year.
Hirvonen has yet to really make his mark on the 2013 World Rally Championship, and while he has taken two second places finishes in Portugal and Mexico, he has been powerless to stop Sebastien Ogier, with the Frenchman building up a commanding lead in the Drivers' Championship.
Despite now trailing the VW man by 65 points, however, the season is still relatively young, although if Mikko is to challenge for the title he will need to start cutting into that advantage and pronto.
“We are working all the time with the team to improve the car. Actually, we completed a short, specific test session when we arrived in Greece,” said the Finn prior to round six out of 13.
“I hope that luck will be on our side this weekend and that we manage to secure another win for Citroen,” he added.
Hirvonen has a good record in Greece, and in addition to winning in 2009, he has also finished on the podium on four other occasions, taking second last year, as well as third in 2011, 2008 and 2006. This will be his tenth Acropolis in total and he knows what is needed to get the job done.
“The road surface can change quite dramatically from one stage to the next in Greece. Sometimes, the roads are very smooth and flowing, and sometimes they are totally rock-strewn and full of potholes. The reliability of the cars and the strength of the tyres mean that we are pretty much flat out all the time, but endurance is still a real factor here," he explained.
Meanwhile, after missing this event for the last two years, Dani Sordo will have to familiarise himself with some of the stages held in the Corinthia region.
“I really like this rally, although I haven't always been successful here,” noted the Spaniard, who is back running with the Citroen
'A' team on this event. “You need a bit of luck to get a good result in Greece but the key is to manage your tyres throughout each loop and, obviously, avoid picking up any punctures. Generally speaking, the roads provide a good level of grip.
“These are the kinds of conditions that I prefer and I hope to rediscover the same level of performance as in Portugal,” he concluded.