WRC »

Turkey - day 2: Mikko capitalises on tactical ploy

BP Ford Abu Dhabi's Mikko Hirvonen made the most of Friday night's 'tactical manoeuvre' to re-take the lead on the Rally of Turkey this morning and then build a very solid lead.

Hirvonen had led for most of opening leg, until he eased off in the final stage to ensure he wouldn't have to sweep the roads on day two. That decision, while not entirely uncontroversial, left the Finn running fifth in the order on Saturday and with cleaner stages he exploited it from the off.

Indeed he set the pace in both stages on the first loop to haul himself into the lead, 2.9 seconds up on his team-mate, Jari-Matti Latvala.

Mikko then increased that cushion four-fold in the middle loop, before gaining more time in the final three stages. He finally finished the day 16 seconds up Latvala - and almost 35 seconds up on his chief championship rival, Citroen's Sebastien Loeb.

Despite that cushion though, Mikko conceded that he had hoped it would be bigger: "Thirty-four seconds over Loeb is good but 40sec would have been comfortable," he noted. "Both Jari-Matti and Loeb will be tough to beat tomorrow but I'm more worried about Jari-Matti.

"I have to realistic though. I came here to regain the championship lead and that's my main aim for tomorrow. That's more important to me than winning this rally. I'm first on the road tomorrow so all I can do is drive flat out and hope for the best."

Latvala meanwhile tried to keep up, but on the whole he was unable to match Hirvonen - although he did beat him in SS14 this afternoon, when he posted his third quickest time of the event.

"Tomorrow will have lots of hard driving, maximum concentration and plenty of effort to try to keep Loeb behind," said Jari. "I'm both a team-mate and competitor with Mikko and I would like to win this rally. I'm not here just to cruise but I must also remember that I mustn't put the car off the road.

"Mikko will be first in the start order so it won't be easy for him while Loeb will attack from behind and will be very fast. The long stage will be tough for me as I will only have Mikko's line to follow."



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen(FIN), Ford Focus RS WRC07, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - 1st place Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN)-Miikka Anttila (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, 2nd place Ott Tanak (EAU)-Martin Jarveoja (EST),Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - 1st place Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN)-Miikka Anttila (FIN) Toyota Yaris WRC, Toyota Gazoo Racing WRT, 2nd place Ott Tanak (EAU)-Martin Jarveoja (EST),Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team and 3rd place Sébastien Ogier (FRA)-Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Ford Fiesta WRC, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Jukka KETOMÄKI (FIN) - Jarkko ALANEN (FIN) Skoda Fabia R5
12.02.2017 - Gus GREENSMITH (GBR) - Craig PARRY (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5
12.02.2017 - Gus GREENSMITH (GBR) - Craig PARRY (GBR) Ford Fiesta R5
12.02.2017 - Hiroki ARAI (JPN) - Glenn MACNEALL (AUS) Ford Fiesta R5, Tommi Mäkinen Racing
12.02.2017 - Alexey LUKYANUK (RUS) - Alexey ARNAUTOV (RUS) Ford Fiesta R5
12.02.2017 - Eric Camilli (FRA)-Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Eric Camilli (FRA)-Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Eric Camilli (FRA)-Benjamin Veillas (FRA) Ford Fiesta, M‐Sport World Rally Team
12.02.2017 - Emil BERGKVIST (SWE) - Joakim SJÖBERG (SWE) Citroën DS3 R5
12.02.2017 - Emil BERGKVIST (SWE)  Citroën DS3 R5
12.02.2017 - Jarosław KOLTUN (POL) - Ireneusz PLESKOT (POL) Ford Fiesta R5, C‐Rally
12.02.2017 - Eyvind BRYNILDSEN (NOR) - Anders FREDRIKSSON (SWE) Ford Fiesta R5 Adapta Motorsport AS
12.02.2017 - Ole Christian VEIBY (NOR) Skoda Fabia R5, Printsport
12.02.2017 - Ole Christian VEIBY (NOR) - Stig Rune SKJÆRMOEN (NOR) Skoda Fabia R5, Printsport
12.02.2017 - Ole Christian VEIBY (NOR) - Stig Rune SKJÆRMOEN (NOR) Skoda Fabia R5, Printsport

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 - 2017 Crash Media Group

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