Hirvonen will lead Citroen’s chase for WRC glory next year following Sebastien Loeb’s decision to go part time. Asked what this dominant victory on Rally Italia Sardinia would do for his confidence heading into 2013, Hirvonen said: “My 2013 season starts here. It does help my confidence, because we did exactly what we were planning and that worked out. But the only other thing I was hoping is that it could have been a fight over all three days.”
Hirvonen was 1.1s behind Loeb starting Friday’s opening stage, which the nine-time world champion failed to complete after making a rare error in his Citroen DS3 WRC.
“My pace was really good, it’s just a shame we didn’t need to show it any longer than the first day,” said Hirvonen, who spent much of the event preserving his comfortable advantage out front. “I kept everything together, stayed on the road and it paid off.
“Now I hope we can repeat in Spain [venue of the WRC season-closer] what we did here; even though it is two days on Tarmac. But again, there’s nothing to lose so we’re going to go for it. My first podium was actually on Tarmac, so I’d like to do that again - only this time a little bit higher.”