M-Sport's Mikko Hirvonen brought the curtain down on his WRC career with a fabulous second place on Wales Rally GB this weekend.
Hirvonen announced his retirement
from the sport at the start of the month and he arguably put in one of, if not his best showing of the season on the 2014 WRC season finale.
The result matched his previous best finish this year in Portugal and came hot on the heels of a third place finish in Spain last time out.
It also came after a good scrap with Citroen duo Kris Meeke and Mads Ostberg, the latter eventually finishing 26 seconds back in P3.
“I am so happy,” said Hirvonen after taking his 69th career WRC podium from 163 starts. “I couldn't have asked for a better end to my WRC career.
“It was a fantastic fight – one of the best I have ever had. In these conditions, everybody makes small mistakes here and there, and we certainly had our share – but we pushed really hard and it paid off.”
“It was a strange feeling this morning, going into service for the last time and saying goodbye to all the guys in the team. I couldn't really concentrate, so we didn't have the best rhythm over the first few stages of the day,” added the 34-year-old.
“I am going to miss so many things from the rallying world and everybody involved and I have so many people to thank - thanks to all of them, but now it is over. I am ready to go home and spend some more time with my family.”