Photo: True winners of 2012 Rally Portugal by Reader X

Oh I was so right when I suspected that WRC fans have some impressive photographs taken on their journeys to the rally stages of not only World Rally Championship events, but rally in general. Some of those great images made their way to my Facebook page and one showing then much younger Sebastien Loeb and much younger Citro├źn reached me through Twitter, and all I can say is huge thank you for sharing!

Not long ago I received an email from one reader who wish to remain anonymous with another photo from the WRC battlefields. As the story goes, this photo was made after tough battle by crew and the photographer alike to get to Portugal and to get to the finish.

My dear fan makes one great point by saying that some images really stand out from the others and no matter how many you have on your DVDs and hard drives or even slides collection, there are those that are simply special. One such ended up in my mailbox.

“Although I have a huge set of photos of WRC cars, the photos that bring back to strongest feelings are the ones that truly matter. Below you will find the story behind this particular photo. The ultimate struggle, the great happiness, and then came the Monday news…”

Below is Readers’s recount of the story behind this great photo and some dedication WRC fans have for this sport and it’s heroes. And I agree totally, these guys really are true winners of that grueling 2012 Rally Portugal.

The story

We travelled a long way to Vodafonde Rally de Portugal 2012 to support Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen to their very first win at Citroen. It was a tough race for the crews as well as for us fans: lots of rain and a snake on the hills of Algarve in the darkness, and more rain and fog when we were wading in the mud and water to get to the stages.

But it was all worth the effort when we stood right beside the Podium with our Finnish flags and a banner on Sunday afternoon, and cheered to Mikko and Jarmo during the prize ceremony. What a great historical moment for a true Mikko WRC fan! It was just incredible to be able to share the joy with the guys. I took some of my best rally photos there in Faro, and Mikko spraying the champagne (all over this face) is definitely one that brings back a huge feeling of total happiness.

The news on Monday morning is yet another story. For me Mikko and Jarmo will always be the true winners of Rally Portugal 2012. We were there from the Qualifying Stage to the Podium to witness it all. This win will stay in our hearts, memories and in my photo book, and no clutch or turbo can ever take it away.

– Flying Finns –