M-Sport’s Elfyn Evans and Mikko Hirvonen were on form as Rally Mexico resumed with seven stages through the Sierra de Lobos mountain range today. Continuing his impressive drive, rookie Evans is on course for a career-best fourth whilst Hirvonen was back to his best after yesterday’s disappointment – climbing four places from 12th to 8th.
Following yesterday’s disappointment, Hirvonen was let loose – testing the limits to gain further assurance with the Fiesta RS WRC on gravel. Testing a range of set-up configurations, he and
Co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen gained a wealth of knowledge ahead of the upcoming loose-surface events.
Having lost none of his confidence, the Finn upped his pace through the afternoon to affect a vast improvement from the first to second pass of Ibarrilla – his second run some 20 seconds faster than his first attempt.
Setting a constant string of top-three stage times, Hirvonen also secured the second fastest time on what will be tomorrow’s points-paying power stage – just 0.3 seconds adrift of the stage victory.
Climbing from 12th to eighth, the Finn is on course for a solid points haul – not to mention the potential for further gains as the event concludes with a final, challenging stint tomorrow.
Mikko Hirvonen (8th) said:
“We’ve had a good day and a really good rhythm through all of the stages. We’ve tried a few different things with the set-up and I am really happy with the handling of the car so it’s looking good for the next gravel events.
“We also had a really good run through what will be the Power Stage tomorrow. We made a couple of small mistakes, so I believe that we can be fast through there tomorrow. Of course I am sure that the others will be pushing too, but I have a really good feeling at the moment so let’s just wait and see.”
Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“It was also great to see Mikko [Hirvonen] follow on with his performance from yesterday. He’s shown good pace through all of the stages, and his strong time through what will be the Power Stage is very encouraging for tomorrow.”