27 Apr 08
Mikko Hirvonen of the BP-Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team has won the inaugural WRC Jordan Rally.
The 27-year-old Finn and his co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen completed the final day with a rally lead of 1m 15.7sec. The result moves Hirvonen into the lead of the 2008 drivers’ championship, five points ahead of Sebastien Loeb.
“It’s fantastic! And very good news for our title fight,” said Hirvonen. “But that last stage was so nerve racking; I had no split times on Dani and no idea how fast he was going. I’m really happy to win and take the 10 points - it makes up for my result in Argentina. Sebastien is still a big threat though. He was very fast here, so we need to find some more speed for the next events.”
Second place went to Dani Sordo of the Total Citroen World Rally Team, who was lucky to survive a spin near the start of the final stage. “I tried my best and pushed as hard as possible today,” said Sordo. But the gravel was the worst of the event, and my wheels were just spinning in some places. We lost time with a spin at the start of the last stage, and then all we could do was drive to the finish. But I’m very happy to get eight championship points.” The result moves Sordo up one place to fifth in the drivers’ championship.
Despite being almost five minutes adrift of Hirvonen’s rally wining time, Chris Atkinson of the Subaru World Rally Team took the final podium place - his fourth from the five rallies run this year. “It’s another good points finish, it’s good for the team and keep us near the front in the championship,” said Atkinson. “But we want to be winning, not just on the podium - that’s not the Subaru style. This is a winning game and that’s what we want to do.” Atkinson stays third in the drivers’ competition with a total of 28 points.