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WRC Finland: Mikko Hirvonen fastest in qualifying

Mikko Hirvonen WRC 2013Mikko Hirvonen made the perfect start to his home round of the World Rally Championship with fastest time at Rally Finland qualifying.

The Citroen driver won the 2.8-mile Ruuhimaki stage by 0.248 seconds from runaway WRC leader Sebastien Ogier, who felt the suspension set-up on his Volkswagen Polo R WRC was not completely dialled into Finland.

Belgian Thierry Neuville turned in an impressive third quickest time on only his second attempt at the event in a World Rally Car, and could have been quicker still.

"I almost stalled on the line," said Neuville. "After that, I pushed as hard as I could."

Evgeny Novikov, Jari-Matti Latvala and Andreas Mikkelsen rounded out the top six, with Latvala not unduly concerned at his fifth quickest time.

"Running order is not so important here," he said. "The time is OK, I'm not so worried."

Running order for Thursday's stages will be decided later this evening, with Hirvonen confessing he had no idea where he would be on the road due to the changeable weather conditions.

"I don't know what to do," he said. "We will talk in the team and think about things. The weather doesn't make it easy."

Pos  Driver              Team/Car       Time       Gap
 1.  Mikko Hirvonen      Citroen        2m15.516s
 2.  Sebastien Ogier     VW             2m15.764s  +0.248s
 3.  Thierry Neuville    M-Sport Ford   2m15.953s  +0.437s
 4.  Evgeny Novikov      M-Sport Ford   2m16.016s  +0.500s
 5.  Jari-Matti Latvala  VW             2m16.258s  +0.742s
 6.  Andreas Mikkelsen   VW             2m16.490s  +0.974s
 7.  Mads Ostberg        M-Sport Ford   2m16.877s  +1.361s
 8.  Juho Hanninen       Hanninen Ford  2m16.933s  +1.417s
 9.  Dani Sordo          Citroen        2m17.351s  +1.835s
10.  Kris Meeke          Citroen        2m17.422s  +1.906s

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