Rally Italia Sardegna: Hirvonen fire a big blow - Wilson

M-Sport WRC team boss Malcolm Wilson has said Mikko Hirvonen's fiery exit from Rally Italia Sardegna is a 'big blow to the team'.
M-Sport WRC boss Malcolm Wilson has said his team will conduct a thorough investigation in order to try and work out exactly why Mikko Hirvonen's Fiesta RS WRC car caught fire on Friday on the road section between SS3 and SS4.

Hirvonen and co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen both escaped unharmed. However, despite all their best efforts they could not save the car from the blaze and it quickly became engulfed.

“Obviously we're all relieved that Mikko and Jarmo are both OK after today,” Wilson stated. “The car, however, has been completely destroyed and there is nothing to be rescued which is a big blow to the team.

“We're still waiting to get the car back, but having spoken with Mikko it seems to have started somewhere towards the right-rear wheel which is something we do not really understand.

“There'll be a thorough investigation back at [our base in] Dovenby Hall to work out exactly what happened, but for now the main thing is that both Mikko and Jarmo are OK.”

Hirvonen meanwhile, who was running sixth overall at the time, has reiterated that he has no idea what caused the blaze.

“It was really strange,” he noted. “Straight after the stage [SS3] everything was OK and operating as it should. We stopped, took our HANS and helmet off, checked all the tyre pressures, had the usual look around the car and everything was fine.

“After we set off again, the car caught fire. We smelt the smoke and as I looked back the rear-right corner was covered in flames.

“We stopped straight away but they were already over the roof. I managed to empty three fire extinguishers but it didn't do anything to calm the blaze. There was nothing we could do to save the car.”

“I have no idea what happened and I don't think we are ever going to find out,” he added.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mikko Hirvonen, Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC, #5 M-Sport World Rally Team)
Mikko Hirvonen, Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC, #5 M-Sport World Rally Team)
Mikko Hirvonen, Jarmo Lehtinen (Ford Fiesta WRC, #5 M-Sport World Rally Team)
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN), Ford Fiesta WRC, M-Sport World Rally Team

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