15 Jun 08
Mikko Hirvonen’s rally winning performance in Turkey today was the best drive of his life according to BP Ford Abu Dhabi team principal Malcolm Wilson.
And Wilson added that Hirvonen’s ability to defend the lead when running first on the road would give the Finn a huge confidence boost for the second half of the 2008 season.
“I really believe it’s a turning point for him,” said Wilson. “Don’t forget he’s still only 27, he hasn’t won four work titles, so the way he’s coped with the pressure I knew he was under today has been brilliant. There’s no question Mikko was very apprehensive about running first on the road because up to now he hasn’t found the rhythm or the proper technique, but now he’s turned a corner. If he has to do it again in the future, I think he’ll be able to do it.
Wilson said Hirvonen’s result in Turkey would help his driver fight Loeb for the 2008 drivers’ championship title. “It will take him to another level,” said Wilson. “He’ll go away from here knowing he can compete against Sebastien, even if he’s first on the road. And that will mean so much to him psychologically. He’s very strong mentally anyway, but this will put him in an even better position.”