Friday 7 February 2014

Rally - Ford on the up

M-Sport World Rally Team's Mikko Hirvonen Finn currently holds fourth place on Rally Sweden with Elfyn Evans breaking into a points-paying position in tenth.

Evans and co-driver Daniel Barritt continued to gain knowledge and experience on their first venture to the snow-covered stages. Growing in confidence, the Welshman continued to improve his times behind the wheel of the Fiesta RS WRC and had the better of his fellow Sweden debutants through a number of tricky speed tests. Evans equalled the time of his more experienced team mate through SS15, and also secured a sixth fastest time. 

Mikko Hirvonen said: "We lost a bit of time catching Robert [Kubica] on SS12. I think we were very unlucky because he managed to get his car on the road literally right in front of me. We must have lost about seven to ten seconds, but these things happen. He stopped on the side of the road after that so I'm sure that it was the same for everyone – everyone will have needed to slow down a bit. There was a lot of gravel on the second pass – the roads were almost completely destroyed. Of course there have been some gravel lines in previous years, but I have never seen such deep ruts like this. It's not perfect conditions and it's hard on the tyres, but that is just the way it is.”  

Elfyn Evans added: "There is so much gravel on the stages now that you have to really concentrate and think about everything you do. You need to look after the tyres, judge the grip and stay on the line, all whilst driving as quickly as you can – it's certainly a new experience. We tried something a little different through the afternoon stages, but I'm yet to see if that will have any benefit. We're just taking the time to learn as much as we can and make it to the end of the rally without incident. We're in a points-paying position now, so if we can hold on to that tomorrow I think it would be a very good result for us."

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