Hirvonen in pre-Portugal scare

World Rally Championship leader Mikko Hirvonen has admitted he was lucky to escape a moment during his Rally of Portugal test - which could have cost Ford its third test car in as many events

Hirvonen in pre-Portugal scare

Hirvonen smashed the right-rear wheel on his Fiesta RS WRC while preparing for the third round of the World Rally Championship, but he says it could have been much worse.

Hirvonen's team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala has already suffered substantial accidents before the first two rounds of the season.

Hirvonen, who has finished first and second so far this year, said: "It could have been the same as some of the tests before. We were lucky it didn't roll. It was a very fast left-hand corner, where we just ran a little bit wide.

"We hit the right-rear, losing the wheel and brakes - it took us a little bit longer than we had thought to slow the car down! It took about an hour to get the car running again, but this didn?t spoil the build up to the event at all."

Despite that moment, Hirvonen says his two days in the test Fiesta have given him more confidence ahead of the Faro-based rally.

He added: "We have been able to find a few things with the suspension and the differentials, which is good news. I have good confidence for this event."

Running first on the road, Hirvonen is not pleased with the weather forecast which is for dry conditions throughout the rally. Following the recce, however, the Finn is optimistic for his chances running ahead of the field.

"Some of the stages have been regraded," he said, "which means more loose gravel for us to sweep, but not all of them. Some of the roads on Friday look pretty good. I don't want to say this rally is going to be better than Mexico, just in case I'm a minute behind again on Friday night, then I would look like a total idiot!"

shares
comments
Araujo suffers early Portugal blow
Previous article

Araujo suffers early Portugal blow

Next article

Block taken to hospital after shunt

Block taken to hospital after shunt
Load comments
How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers Plus

How WRC legend Ogier will be remembered by his peers

After winning his eighth WRC title, Sebastien Ogier has drawn the curtain on his full-time rallying career. To understand Ogier's legacy, many of his former rivals, team-mates and colleagues have shared their thoughts on a vastly successful career

WRC
Nov 26, 2021
Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies Plus

Ranking lost WRC legend Richard Burns' 10 best rallies

Richard Burns was a determined driver who took on the best rally drivers in the world during a boom period in the early 2000s, and beat them. On the 20th anniversary of his crowning glory in winning the 2001 WRC title, and 16 years on from his death on the same date, Autosport picks out his 10 greatest drives

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion Plus

The internal focus that made Burns a legendary world rally champion

At the turn of the millennium, WRC was full to the brim with rallying's great and good - and 20 years ago on this day, Richard Burns became England's first world rally champion. Although Burns' natural talent drove him to the top, his steely determination and mental strength was the key attribute behind his title-winning form

WRC
Nov 25, 2021
How Ogier emerged out of Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend Plus

How Ogier emerged out of Loeb's shadow to form his own WRC legend

OPINION: Adding an eighth WRC title to his name, Sebastien Ogier has bowed out from full-time rallying in style. Having been compared throughout his career with nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb, Ogier has convincingly demonstrated that he can stand on his own as one of the greatest rally drivers in history

WRC
Nov 22, 2021
How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend Plus

How confronting self-doubt drove Ogier to become a WRC legend

This weekend's Rally Monza marks the end of an era in the World Rally Championship, as Sebastien Ogier prepares to bring down the curtain on his full-time career with an eighth title. For all his enduring success, the Toyota driver reveals in an exclusive interview that lingering insecurities have compelled his quest for perfection

WRC
Nov 18, 2021
The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC Plus

The third generation McRae on his way to the WRC

The McRae family name is steeped in rallying history, with eight British titles between Jimmy, Colin and Alister - plus the small matter of the 1995 WRC title too. Next on the conveyor of talent is Alister's 17-year-old Max McRae, who’s setting out in Australia to conquer the world of rallying and return the famous name to the WRC...

WRC
Nov 12, 2021
Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era Plus

Inside Hyundai’s radical approach to prepare for the WRC hybrid era

As the World Rally Championship undergoes its biggest shift in regulations for a generation, teams are taking radical measures to prepare for its new era. Hyundai's unique approach involved conducting a private 1500km rally in Italy and Autosport went to see how the team is preparing for 2022

WRC
Nov 4, 2021
How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain Plus

How Neuville stole the show from Ogier vs Evans slugfest in Spain

While all pre-event chat focused on the two World Rally Championship title fighters, their closest challenger charged into the spotlight on Rally Spain. Thierry Neuville's star turn and another strong drive from Elfyn Evans in his fight with Sebastien Ogier made for an intriguing event as the 2021 campaign nears its crunch point

WRC
Oct 18, 2021