He is 33 today and he celebrated his birthday by being the fastest guy on the short qualifying stage. His name is Mikko Hirvonen and this rally is his home event, the one he won in 2009. Undoubtedly, he would very much like to repeat that feat this week. For now, things are looking good for Citroën driver.
The differences between the leading 6 crews were really minimal, but bear in mind this is only 4.6 kilometeres of a stage they really memorized well after going through it several times at racing speeds. Still, it’s great to see everyone being competitive and motivated – winning the Finnish grand prix is considered a major thing for any rally driver.
Second place on qualifying stage went to Volkswagen’s Sebastien Ogier, who was just 2 tenths slower than Hirvonen, similar to third placed Thierry Neuville being additional 2 tenths behind the Frenchman.
Despite the fact that Rally Finland is not the traditional gravel event in the sense that dust, loose dust or big stones play major part in the results, leading crews opted for lowest starting positions. So the flying Mikko will be last to start the stages tomorrow. Six special stages, the longest of which is just short of 14 kilometers, are on the menu tomorrow. Can’t wait!