M-Sport World Rally Team’s Mikko Hirvonen and Elfyn Evans finished Rallye de France Alsace in positive fashion today, coming away with fifth and sixth places respectively.
As the crews travelled north for two loops of two identical stages, both Hirvonen and Evans were locked in their own intense battles – the Finn 12.9 seconds adrift of fourth position and the Welshman 12.2 seconds adrift of seventh.
In the battle for fourth, Hirvonen refused to give up the fight. Becoming more accustomed to the characteristics of Michelin’s new tyre compounds, he and co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen produced a string of consistent and competitive stage times behind the wheel of their Ford Fiesta RS WRC.
Although they may not have been able to catch asphalt specialist Dani Sordo, their determination and experience paid dividends – securing fifth place overall and some valuable championship points to strengthen their fourth place in the FIA World Rally Championship drivers’ standings.
Mikko (5th) said:
“I’m quite happy with the way this weekend has gone. It would have been nice to have finished a little bit higher, but I think that the pace was really good in places. We just need a bit more consistency and to do some work with the set-up of the car so that it is better suited to the new tyres. Hopefully we can do that and take another couple of steps forward in Spain.”
Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:
“Mikko [Hirvonen] has performed well on asphalt this weekend and he comes away with a strong fifth place which strengthens his fourth place in the drivers’ championship. He has shown some very good pace at times and once he has the consistency and the