BP Ford Abu Dhabi's Mikko Hirvonen recovered to take fifth spot on the Rally Argentina last weekend, but ultimately it was a disappointing event for the Finn as the win was well within his grasp.

Indeed on the opening morning, Mikko was in a class of his own and he was nearly 50 seconds up on the rest of the pack through SS1, the 18.70 kilometre-run through La Cumbre. He then took a further two stage wins in SS2 and SS4 and looked well in control.

SS5, however, proved costly and when he hit a rock and broke the front suspension, he was forced out.

The 27-year-old then rejoined on day two in 25th place and he proceeded to fight his way back up the order, avoiding the carnage and eventually taking four points, which was some consolation.

Speaking after losing the lead in the drivers' championship to rally winner Sebastien Loeb, Mikko conceded though that he was still pretty miffed.

"After Friday's problems, I never thought I could climb this high. I'm surprised to score points and luckily Loeb isn't so far ahead in the championship. He's only five points in front and I thought it would be nine, so that's some comfort. But I'm still disappointed because I made such a good start to lead and I could have won, but that's life," he said philosophically.

"I found more speed than I had on the last round in Mexico but today I drove carefully because conditions were slippery and foggy."

Asked about that incident in the repeat run through Ascochinga, he added that he was just a bit unlucky.

"I hit a big rock in a left corner with the wheel on full lock and the impact broke the bolts in the track control arm," he explained on day 1. "The rock was in a rut and became exposed after the first pass through the stage so it's not something I would have had in my pace notes. I was unlucky and I'm disappointed because the rally started well."



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