Hirvonen blaze costs M-Sport £400,000
Malcolm Wilson reveals the financial costs of Mikko Hirvonen’s Sardinia blaze
The former F1 racer has been on a steep learning curve since he committed to the FIA World Rally Championship in 2013, particularly when trying to increase his confidence on loose gravel stages.
But he thinks his performance on the rough gravel stages in Sardinia was a landmark moment in his bid to claim podium places – and eventually rally wins.
His M-Sport-prepared Ford Fiesta RS WRC was nestling comfortably in fifth place before he clipped a rock and was forced to miss the final two stages on Saturday with a broken right-front wheel and suspension. He eventually rejoined the action on Sunday under Rally 2 and claimed eighth place at the finish.
“This is really the first time I was driving a really smooth rally with an extremely good performance,” the Pole said. “This is the first event where I’ve really enjoyed rallying on gravel.
“Before this year I was really doing rallies for pleasure. But the pleasure on gravel was not there until now. This rally has given me pleasure from driving on this type of stages.”
Kubica is now looking to build on his showing in Sardinia by putting in another strong performance in his homeland when the WRC returns to gravel action at Rally Poland (26-29 June).
“This will be a great event for me and the fans in Poland. I’m really looking forward to it. It will be a tough rally because I don't know any of the stages but we’ll give it our best,” he said.
M-Sport team principal, Malcolm Wilson, praised Kubica’s performance in Sardinia. He said: “He’s made a big step in performance and it’s great to see him leaving a rally full of confidence and looking forward to his home event.”