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Hirvonen on course for victory?

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 too.

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.



Related Pictures

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Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen(FIN), Ford Focus RS WRC08, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Mikko Hirvonen (FIN) Jarmo Lehtinen(FIN), Ford Focus RS WRC08, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Mikko Hirvonen (fin) Ford Focus RS Wrc BP Ford Abudhabi WRT
Hayden Paddon, John Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC, #20 Hyundai Motorsport N)
Hayden Paddon, John Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC, #20 Hyundai Motorsport N)
Hayden Paddon, John Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC, #20 Hyundai Motorsport N)
Hayden Paddon, John Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC, #20 Hyundai Motorsport N)
Hayden Paddon, John Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC, #20 Hyundai Motorsport N)
Hayden Paddon, John Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC, #20 Hyundai Motorsport N)
Hayden Paddon, John Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC, #20 Hyundai Motorsport N)
Hayden Paddon, John Kennard (Hyundai i20 WRC, #20 Hyundai Motorsport N)
Mads Ostberg, Jonas Andersson (Citroen DS3 WRC, #4 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Mads Ostberg, Jonas Andersson (Citroen DS3 WRC, #4 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Mads Ostberg, Jonas Andersson (Citroen DS3 WRC, #4 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Mads Ostberg, Jonas Andersson (Citroen DS3 WRC, #4 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Mads Ostberg, Jonas Andersson (Citroen DS3 WRC, #4 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Mads Ostberg, Jonas Andersson (Citroen DS3 WRC, #4 Citroën Total Abu Dhabi WRT)
Sebastien Ogier, Julien Ingrassia (Volkswagen Polo WRC #1, Volkswagen Motorsport)

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