The Finn, who drives for the Citroen Total Abu Dhabi Team, was just 1km into the opening 15km Lesjofors test when he went off. And although his DS3 WRC was completely undamaged it remained beached in deep snow for 24 minutes.
“I was on a fast right-hander when the rear went a bit wide,” Mikko explained. “I think somebody had gone off before us and there was a gap in the snow bank. We dropped slightly into a ditch but it was enough to send us into a spin. We rolled once, gently over the snow.”
“There were only two spectators nearby when we went off and so it took us a long time to try and get the car out. Four or five more people came along soon after. I must say thanks to them for helping. In the end it all came down to manpower.”
Returning to Friday’s midpoint service 25 minutes behind rally leader Sebastien Ogier. Hirvonen’s co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen said Sunday’s Power Stage was likely to be the pair’s best chance to salvage something from the weekend.
“We are something like 14 minutes behind the last drivers' point, but there are three more available on the Power Stage. Maybe we will take it easy and keep some tyres ready for a big attack on Sunday,” said Lehtinen.