BP Ford Abu Dhabi team leader Mikko Hirvonen
looks on course to take his maiden win of the season tonight following day two of the Acropolis Rally of Greece.
Hirvonen was gifted the lead of the seventh round in the 2009 World Rally Championship in the final stage on Friday, when his team-mate, Jari-Matti Latvala
ran into difficulties.
However the Finn was anticipating a tough fight today with the Citroen's of Sebastien Loeb
and Dani Sordo, something that would be compounded by his position on the road.
Despite having to play 'road sweeper' though, Mikko returned to the final service with a 1 minute 40.1 second cushion, after Loeb, Sordo and then Petter Solberg
all went out.
Loeb was the first to exit when he crashed and heavily damaged his Citroen
C4 WRC car in the opening test. Seb and co-driver, Daniel Elena both escaped unhurt in the incident in SS7, but they will not be able to re-start on Sunday under the SupeRally format.
Sordo meanwhile joined his Citroen
team-mate on the sidelines in SS9, when he hit a rock and damaged the suspension. The same rock claimed Stobart
Ford's Henning Solberg
Suspension problems would also account for Henning's brother, Petter in the afternoon, something that now leaves Mikko odds on to take the maximum ten points and cut Loeb's advantage in the drivers' championship from 17 points to 7.
“It is a perfect day for me,” said Hirvonen. “We made no mistakes, faced no problems and we have a big difference, but you never know.”
With so many front runners hitting problems, Sebastien Ogier
is now 'best of the rest' and set to take silver. The Citroen
Junior Team driver paced himself throughout, posting five top-six times from six - his best effort coming in the penultimate stage when he was fourth.