01 Feb 08
BP Ford team leader Mikko Hirvonen says he has to win on the Swedish Rally if he’s to stay in the fight for the 2008 drivers’ championship.
After finishing second on the opening round, Rallye Monte Carlo, the 27-year-old Finn is two points adrift of reigning champion Sebastien Loeb, but is hoping to capitalise on the snowy conditions he loves.
Hirvonen won the championship's last winter event in Norway in 2007 and has contested the Swedish Rally five times previously, finishing third in 2007.
“Everyone is asking if I feel I'm the favourite," said Hirvonen. "There are a few possible winners and I'm one of them, but I don't regard myself as the favourite. There's a little pressure, but I felt pressure in Rallye Monte Carlo and had a good result there. This is the first rally that I'm really thinking I have to win if I want to fight for the drivers' title.”
Read more about the Ford team's expectations in their Swedish Rally preview notes.