Rally Italia Sardegna: Hirvonen - Five magic moments
Mikko Hirvonen's dominant victory on Rally Italia Sardegna for Citroen isn't the first time that he's shone in the FIA World Rally Championship. Here are five more examples.
Catalunya, 2005: Following an unsuccessful spell as a factory Subaru driver, Hirvonen secures a selected programme of rallies for 2005, the highlight of which is his third-place finish on the asphalt of Catalunya aboard a privateer Focus.
Australia, 2006: On the WRC’s final visit to Perth, Hirvonen’s team-mate Marcus Gronholm needs to win to keep his title hopes alive. But when he falters on day one, Hirvonen is there to pick up the pieces for Ford, a result that puts the make on the brink of the manufacturers’ title. Hirvonen’s reward: a trip around the service park strapped to a human stock on a forklift truck, no less...
Norway, 2007: Gronholm is expected to clean up on the WRC’s second consecutive snow rally of 2007 but he’s upstaged by his young Ford team-mate, who wins Norway’s first world championship qualifier in impressive fashion.
Season 2008: The world title might have gone to Sebastien Loeb but in his first season as leader of the factory Ford team following Marcus Gronholm’s retirement, Hirvonen scores points on all 15 rounds to underline his impressive consistency.
Sweden 2011: Hirvonen gets the new World Rally Car era off to a flying start with victory in Sweden in Ford’s RS WRC (pictured). He would finish the season as runner-up following a title showdown on the championship finale in Great Britain, his final WRC appearance with Ford before his winter switch to Citroen for 2012.