WRC »

Polish win puts Hirvonen top

BP Ford Abu Dhabi number one driver Mikko Hirvonen took the victory on the 66th Rally Poland this weekend - and as a result he now moves ahead of Sebastien Loeb to the top of the drivers' standings.

Hirvonen, who came into the eighth round in the 2009 World Rally Championship trailing the five-time world champion by seven points, took the lead in the second stage on Friday.

He then saw his advantage at the top of the leader-board increase, when Seb made a crucial mistake and went off the road in the next test, hitting a tree stump and damaging the suspension on his Citroen C4 WRC. The Frenchman was unable to continue and retired from the leg.

That handed Mikko a great chance to close the gap - and take the lead in the race for the drivers' crown, and he grabbed it with both hands.

On Friday afternoon, he initially came under a bit of pressure from his team-mate, Jari-Matti Latvala, before a flier of a time in SS6 allowed him to pull out a bit of a cushion. He subsequently finished the first day 8.9 seconds in front.

On Saturday the fight continued and following SS8, SS9 and SS10, Hirvonen saw his advantage slashed to just 3 seconds. However on the repeat runs through he took back control and in the first test beat his closest rivals by over 6 seconds.

Hirvonen then consolidated his position in SS12 and SS13, before heading into the overnight halt 12 seconds in front.

The final day ended up being a bit of a formality for the Finn and he paced himself through the final five stages to take the victory, his second in a row.

He will now go to his home event in Finland at the end of next month, following the WRC's four-week summer break, with a one-point lead over Loeb in the drivers' standings.

“It is unbelievable to win the event. What a fantastic, exciting rally,” said Hirvonen. “I have the lead now in the championship and the next event is at home in Finland.”




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
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) Jarmo Lehtinen(FIN), Ford Focus RS WRC08, BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team
Elfyn Evans and Gwyndaf Evans. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: John Sulman]
Tribute parade for Bjorn Waldegard. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: RallyingOnline Ltd - www.rallygallery.com]
Metro 6R4 celebrations. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: RallyingOnline Ltd - www.rallygallery.com]
Markku Alen. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: RallyingOnline Ltd - www.rallygallery.com]
Markko Martin. Richard Tuthill Porsche 997 RGT. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: RallyingOnline Ltd - www.rallygallery.com]
Kajetan Kajetanowicz - LOTOS Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5
Harri Toivonen. Metro 6R4. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: RallyingOnline Ltd - www.rallygallery.com]
Kajetan Kajetanowicz - LOTOS Rally Team Ford Fiesta R5
Gwyndaf Evans. MML Sports Mitsubishi WRC05. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: RallyingOnline Ltd - www.rallygallery.com]
Elfyn Evans. M-Sport Fiesta R5. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: RallyingOnline Ltd - www.rallygallery.com]
Elfyn Evans and Gwyndaf Evans. Interview stage. Rallyday 2014 [Pic credit: RallyingOnline Ltd - www.rallygallery.com]
Petter Solberg edges Mattias Ekstrom by 5/1000ths of a second in the German round of the FIA World Rallycross Championship
Yazeed Al-Rahji - Ford Fiesta RRC
First corner Rallycross action
Podium: 1st Sebastien Ogier (FRA) Julien Ingrassia (FRA) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 2nd Jari-Matti Latvala (FIN) Miikka Antilla (FIN) Volkswagen Polo R WRC, 3rd Andreas Mikkelsen (NOR) Ola Floene Volkswagen Polo R WRC, Jost Capito, Team Principal, Volkswagen Motorsport

Join 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.


Dafydd Larcombe - Unregistered

June 29, 2009 3:35 PM

OOPS !!! Had a whoopsie all of my own there, I meant to say If mikko finished 2nd in Wales Mikko would be crowned Champion. guess like Jari I made a small mistke there right at the end - lol Not funny I know, Poor guy................

Dafydd Larcombe - Unregistered

June 29, 2009 3:32 PM

It should be very interesting from here on in. If Jari Matti wants to repay Ford a little for his few lets say WHOOPSIES....... If Mikko could win Finland and Jari finish 2nd to him that would put Mikko 5 points ahead of Seb. In Oz where we know Seb wont be at his most potent coz its another new event, Mikko could just pip him for another 2 points to make it 7 That would allow Mikko to comfortably finish 3rd in Spain where Seb and Dani are realistically going to take the top 2 spots putting Mikko back to 3 points In Wales Mikko would just need to finish 2nd for Seb to be crowned Chempion. This plan should be achievable and Mikko will win the title by just 1 point.



© 1999 - 2014 Crash Media Group

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