Wales - leg 2: Mikko closes on third win of year.

BP Ford number two driver Mikko Hirvonen continues to lead the Wales Rally GB, the final round in the 2007 FIA World Rally Championship, following the second leg on Saturday.

Mikko began the day nearly 40 seconds up on his team-mate Marcus Gronholm and while he had a bit of a slow start and was only fourth fastest in SS7, he bounced back in SS8 and SS9, posting two second fastest times.

He thus returned to the mid-day service in Swansea still comfortably in front, with a 32.6 seconds cushion over his illustrious team-mate.

In the repeat loop in the afternoon the gap remained pretty static, with Mikko posting two third fastest efforts and a second to head to the short super special at Cardiff's Millennium stadium 35.7 seconds in front. He eventually finished the day with a 35.5 second lead.

Despite that cushion though he remains guarded and clearly isn't underestimating Gronholm: "It will be good to wake up in the morning in the lead, but I'm not taking anything for granted," he confirmed.

"Marcus might want to give me one last lesson before he retires so I will have to stay alert and keep the pace high to keep him behind me."

Gronholm meanwhile, who will retire from the sport after this event, continues to pace himself and ensure he remains well placed, should Sebastien Loeb have a problem, something that might give him a chance to land his third drivers' crown.

"There's no stress and no pressure as I can do nothing but wait and see what happens to Loeb," said the double world champion, who won the short Cardiff super special, which concluded the day's proceedings.

"I'm not enjoying driving at a steady pace but there's no plan to push to catch Mikko. It would be stupid for me to do that and make a mistake. My plan is to stay in second. It would be good to win my final rally but that's not my priority - the title is."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) / Jarmo Lehtinen (FIN), BP Ford Focus RS WRC 06.
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN), BP Ford Focus RS WRC 06.
Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) / Miikka Anttila (FIN), Stobart Ford Focus WRC 06.
VW 2014 WRC title win in numbers
Sebastien Ogier collects his WRC champion`s trophy at the FIA Prizegiving in Doha
Sebastien Ogier and VW celebrate at the FIA Prizegiving
Robert Kubica at the Monza Rally Show
Ford Olsbergs MSE celebrates winning the RX Teams` Championship
Liam Doran
Teams line up for FIA World Rallycross
Teams line up for FIA World Rallycross
Nasser Al-Attiyah - Mini ALL4 Racing
Jari Ketomaa (FIN) Kaj Lindstrom (FIN), Ford Fiesta R5, WRC2 winners

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.