Most of the attention in recent time has been on Citroën Total ace Sébastien Loeb, but BP Ford’s Mikko Hirvonen has kept the race for this year’s driver’s championship quite close. At his home event at this weekend’s Rallye Finland, he finally managed to overtake Loeb and as a result, now finds himself leading.
Hirvonen has been quick all season, but has mostly not been quick enough to overtake Loeb. This weekend’s win was partially influenced by a punctured tire that Loeb experienced on Saturday, but Hirvonen had already been quicker than Loeb for all stages prior; the puncture merely increased Hirvonen’s lead. Hirvonen was, naturally, quite ecstatic to win his home event:
“This feels fantastic. I’ve been following this rally since I was a kid and now I’ve won it, the same as all my boyhood heroes like Hannu Mikkola and Markku Alen.”
What of Kimi Räikkönen’s WRC debut? Unfortunately his rally ended on day two when he rolled his Abarth Grande Punto S2000 into a ditch, but the other drivers seemed to have nothing but good things to say about his performance, especially given his relative inexperience in WRC. Red Bull Racing star Sebastian Vettel was also in attendance as a guest of Citroën’s, and has indicated his possible interest in contesting a WRC event in the future. With the rumour that Sébastien Loeb may try his hand(s) at F1 later this year with Scuderia Toro Rosso, the lines between these two very distinctive top forms of motorsport may continue to overlap in new and interesting ways.