Ford pair: Recce crucial in Poland

Ford drivers Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala say their hopes of continuing the team's winning run in the World Rally Championship depend on a good recce for next week's Rally Poland

Ford pair: Recce crucial in Poland

Poland is returning to the WRC for the first time since 1973 and none of the leading drivers have any experience of the gravel roads around Mikolajki, the event's base in the north-east of the country.

Both Ford drivers have spent time studying the DVD the rally organisers have prepared ahead of the recce, which starts on Tuesday.

Acropolis Rally winner Hirvonen said: "The stages look really fast and very similar to Finland, but without as many crests as we have at home. I know that I make good pace notes for new stages and it's crucial to get them right to have a chance of winning."

Hirvonen's one concern ahead of the event is the organisers' use of straw bales to tighten corners, slow speeds and restrict corner cutting. The 28-year-old has urged the officials to make sure the bales remain untouched between the recce and the rally itself.

"The bales must be in exactly the right place for the recce because on fast roads it's vital we know their exact position otherwise the pace notes can be too slow or too fast, and that risks either losing time or making a mistake," he said.

Latvala, who clinched his second WRC victory in Italy last month, said: "The recce for a new rally is important. Normally it should be possible to ensure the pace notes are accurate in the two passes we're allowed. Of course, there are always a few corners that are not exactly correct but when you consider how many bends we note during a normal two-day recce, this isn't too surprising.

"When using existing notes to practise a stage I can drive a little quicker than when making brand new notes. It requires much more concentration to make new notes, but it's also easier to make notes for faster roads than it is for slower stages because less information is required."

Both Ford drivers are testing before the start of the event, with Latvala concluding his two days today before Hirvonen takes over the test Focus tomorrow and Sunday.

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