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World Rally Championship: Hirvonen wants to attack Loeb

World Rally Championship 2010: Mikko Hirvonen
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I In the very last race of the 2009 season, Sebastien Loeb did that Duel with Mikko Hirvonen won by one point and snatched the Finnish title on the home straight. However, there was not much time to process the disappointment in Wales: 'We had a busy winter. We worked a lot with the new S2000 Fiesta for the Monte Carlo Rally, which will hopefully help us for the future. And then of course we focused on preparing the Rally Sweden ', explained Hirvonen.

Hirvonen already in Sweden

The Finn is already there a week before the event to make final adjustments to his Focus WRC. The victory at the IRC run in Monte Carlo at the end of January does not give the 29-year-old a particular boost. 'That won't change anything for Sweden. It's a completely different rally, with a different surface and a different car. But it felt good to win there.'

In Sweden, Hirvonen will also be on his Meet fellow countryman Marcus Grönholm. Both will go to the start in the Ford Focus. 'It's nice to see Marcus again. And if there is a rally where he is particularly fast, it's Sweden. He knows the rally so well and he is very good there. I think he definitely wants to win and I think he has the chance. '

With more risk to the title?

The important opponent is still Sebastien Loeb . The Frenchman is simply unbeatable on asphalt. With four events on the run, there are significantly more this year than last year. 'Of course, the four asphalt rallies are a bit of a benefit to Sebastien and Citroen,' complains Hirvonen. 'But I'm not afraid of the challenge. I just have to try a little more and then we will hopefully find a little more speed and be able to challenge him.' There are already first plans for a special asphalt training.

In 2010 Hirvonen also wants to change his tactics a little. He now wants to take more risks. With just one retirement, he was the most consistent driver of the past season. 'That was always my strength. But unfortunately it wasn't enough. I have to win more rallies and stay just as consistent. I was more consistent than Sebastien last year, but he won the title.'

Hirvonen learns from his mistakes

Hirvonen is with us29 years now an experienced pilot. Mistakes from the past should not be repeated in the coming season. Above all, he doesn't want to underestimate anyone anymore. 'I can't name any rallies in which I have an advantage. I've said that from time to time in the past and then I've always lost them. It's never easy.' As an example, he cites his home rally in Finland: 'The 2008 loss to Sebastien was tough. I thought I would beat him. But he did his homework. He found confidence in the car and won the rally. That was a good lesson, that I must never underestimate anyone. '

Hirvonen's view also goes into the more distant future. In 2011, new technical regulations will be introduced in the World Rally Championship, from which the vice-champion is hoping for a lot: '2011 will be interesting. We don't yet know what the engine regulations will look like in the end. But the technology will be roughly the same as the cars Have power and the same torque. I'm sure the cars will be fast. In the beginning maybe not quite as fast as the Focus right now, but I think it won't be long before we catch up. '

Hirvonen wants greater competition

The new, more cost-effective regulations are also intended to overcome the crisis in the WRC. Hirvonen is hoping for more competition: 'We definitely need more manufacturers and drivers in the championship. I hope that the new rules will help. Everyone has to build a new car. Unfortunately, there is still nothing concrete about possible teams. Unfortunately, I have so far too only heard rumors about Skoda, Mini and Volkswagen. '


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