M-Sport World Rally Team’s Mikko Hirvonen has made the most of a challenging Rally Poland – bringing his Ford Fiesta RS WRC home in fourth place. Elfyn Evans finished under Rally 2 regulations, but the Welshman remains in a positive mood having made another progressive step in his development.
M-Sport’s resident Finn had been battling with his pacenotes throughout the weekend. Hindered by notes a scale too slow for the fast-paced stages, Hirvonen refused to give up the fight and adapted to the situation in admirable fashion.
Focused on the job in hand, he and co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen put all of their skill and experience to good use. When others fell victim to the tricky conditions, the Finns upped their pace and quickly found themselves back where they belonged – battling for a podium position during the rally’s final phase.
With just 10 seconds separating the Fiesta driver from a top-three finish, Hirvonen was not going to give up without a fight. Working long into the night, he and Lehtinen studied all of their onboard videos; perfecting their pacenotes at every opportunity.
Despite their best efforts, the pairing had to settle for fourth place, albeit with a highly respectable points haul considering their difficult weekend.
Mikko Hirvonen (4th) said:
“It’s been a really difficult weekend. It all went wrong on the recce and we had to play catch up from there. That’s the way it was and we just had to deal with it as best we could.
“My pace wasn’t as good as it should have been, but I stayed out of trouble and just tried to do my best. Many people had problems this weekend and we were able to capitalise on that and score some good points.”