Mikko Hirvonen is praying there is no rain on the Rally of Turkey
BP Ford Abu Dhabi’s Mikko Hirvonen is hoping it will be dry on the Rally of Turkey this coming weekend so that he can take full advantage of not being first on the road.
Hirvonen slipped to second in the drivers’ championship following the recent round in the Greece and is now one point behind his arch rival, multiple world champion Sebastien Loeb.
That one point difference though will mean Mikko will now start behind the Frenchman on leg 1 in Kemer on Friday, and as such Seb will have to play the ‘road sweeper’ and clear the loose gravel for those behind, leaving a cleaner and faster line.
Mikko is hoping that will be critical and help him in his bid to regain top spot and secure what would be his second win of the season.
“This rally is very similar to Greece,” said the 27-year-old, who has competed in Turkey three times, taking second in 2006, the last time it was part of the WRC.
“The surface is hard and the roads are reasonably wide. Some stages can be quite abrasive on the tyres but the problem comes if it starts to rain. Two years ago it rained heavily before the event and the roads were a mud bath.
“I really hope that it stays dry because that means that Sebastien, my rival at the top of the drivers’ table, will be first in the start order in the worst of the conditions.
“I’ve struggled in that position on the last two rallies during the first day so it will be interesting to see how he copes. I prefer this situation of being a point behind him in the drivers’ championship and having a better start position, than being a point ahead and having to start ahead of him.”