M Sport signs Mikko Hirvonen

Young Finnish driver Mikko Hirvonen has signed a deal that will see him compete in a full season of the world rally championship driving an M Sport prepared Ford Focus RS WRC

M Sport signs Mikko Hirvonen

M Sport, which also runs Ford's works rally programme, will provide the young Finn with a car the same specification as used by works drivers Markko Martin and Francois Duval.

Hirvonen began rallying in 1998, and moved up through the ranks of the Finnish rally scene. This season, the driver competed in over 24 events in a variety of series, winning the F2 class of the Finnish championship. Hirvonen also participated in three WRC events, tackling the Finnish and Sanremo rallies in a Renault Clio and running the Rally of Great Britain in a Subaru Impreza.

"Essentially this is a commercial deal between M Sport and Finland's Promo Racing," said M Sport chief Malcolm Wilson. "We see it as very important to keep a link between this agreement and the Ford Rallye Sport programme as Mikko has the potential to become a fully fledged factory driver in the future."

"Recently he tested a Ford Focus RS WRC in Cumbria and our engineers were astounded by his ability behind the wheel. After just a couple of runs he was setting consistently fast times on one of our forest test tracks, matching those of more experienced drivers."

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