16 Jun 08
BP Ford Abu Dhabi team driver Mikko Hirvonen says he had to do well in Turkey if he was to honour a pledge he had made to his team principal, Malcolm Wilson.
"I promised Malcolm I would lead the championship going into my home rally in Finland next month, and now I am!” said Hirvonen.
The Finn takes a drivers’ championship lead of three points into Finland, which starts on 1 August.
And after struggling on recent events when he has been the first driver through loose gravel stages, Hirvonen said his result in Turkey came at just the right time to give him a confidence boost for the second half of the year.
“It was the right moment for a win because we struggled on the last round in Greece and this is perfect timing,” said Hirvonen. “It feels very special to beat a four-time world champion in a straight fight. Our tactics worked so well and I didn't panic on Sunday morning when I was first on the road and had to sweep the stages.”
“This is my best result because it was such a big team effort,” added Hirvonen. “It looks like it will be an exciting championship battle in the second half of the season.”