Mikko Hirvonen and Elfyn Evans may be poles apart in terms of Rally Sweden experience, but both M-Sport World Rally Team drivers put in a solid performance at the FIA World Rally Championship’s only snow event of the year. Battling for the podium positions, Hirvonen ultimately had to settle for fourth. Unfortunately for Evans, an untimely off on the final stage cost him what could have been a points-paying ninth place.
Having been in the fight for the top positions, Hirvonen and co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen rejuvenated their relationship with the Ford Fiesta RS WRC. Able to battle with the leaders, the Finn has established a solid base on which to build as the season ensues.
Opting to be safe rather than sorry through the final speed tests, Hirvonen kept well clear of the snow banks which threatened to snare anyone who ventured even slightly off line. Keeping his head, the Finn was not going to be distracted from his objective of finishing the event – securing a strong result and continuing to build momentum for the season ahead.
“It’s been a tough rally, but I think that we did a good job in the end. After the first split, I backed off completely. We had so many moments in those first five kilometres and I understood straight away that if I wanted to fight at the top I would risk not finishing at all, and that wasn’t something I was willing to do this weekend.
“We’re not quite back up to the pace that I was hoping for, but it was not too bad. Some sections were really good so I think that gives us a good base to build on and hopefully when we get back to gravel we can be even faster.”
Find all Mikko’s sounds for Rally Sweden here : https://soundcloud.com/mikko-hirvonen-wrc