Mikko Hirvonen has won Rally Sweden the past two years. Now sieves Finn on the hattrick.
– Of course my goal is to win the race again, he says six days before the start on February 9.
2010 Mikko Hirvonen won Rally Sweden in a Ford Focus. Last year’s triumph came in a Ford Fiesta.
After six years as a works driver for Ford have the Finn switched to Citroen. This year’s start he and co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen do in a Citroën DS3 WRC.
– I am convinced that we have a car that can win, but even if we have done well in this rally the past four years there will still be a difficult challenge to win again. We have worked hard during the testing and although the Citroen DS3 WRC is still new to me, I think obviously I have the chance of victory, says Hirvonen.
That he enjoys snow and ice, there´s no doubt. The last six WRC starts in Sweden and Norway says it all: Three wins, two second places and one third place.
Of course, he is a hot victory and podium candidate this time around as well.
Hirvonen drove his new car in competition for the first time in Monte Carlo Rally, where he was fourth. Others start on Saturday in KNA Rally Finnskog in Norway.
– Rally Sweden is an important race for Jarmo and I start in Norway aims to maximize our chances of achieving the best possible results in the second WRC race. Saturday’s starter will allow us to get our sense of the car confirmed on the same type of conditions that await us in the Rally Sweden in less than a week.
Citroën’s preparatory tests for Rally Sweden has obviously been valuable for Hirvonen.
– It’s been fun to drive car in the situations that I really love. Unlike the Monte Carlo Rally is the grip on ice constantly and does not shift all the time. Together with the team’s engineers, we found the right balance for the extreme conditions typical of Sweden and Norway. I’m very happy with the results.
Mikko Hirvonen after the fact Rally Sweden / Rally Norway in recent years:
Rally Sweden 2011: Victory Ford Fiesta WRC.
Rally Sweden 2010: Victory, Ford Focus WRC.
Rally Norway 2009: Runner-up, the Ford Focus WRC.
Rally Sweden 2008: Runner-up, the Ford Focus WRC.
Rally Sweden 2007: Third place, the Ford Focus WRC.
Rally Norway 2007: Victory, Ford Focus WRC.