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M-Sport Find Their Feet In Poland
Posted by: newsla on Jun 28, 2014 - 06:24 AM
WRC Rally News 2010
M-Sport Find Their Feet In Poland

M-Sport World Rally Team’s Mikko Hirvonen and Elfyn Evans had a somewhat shaky start to their Rally Poland campaign, but the pairing soon found their feet and are beginning to climb the leader board as a result. Hirvonen currently holds seventh place with Evans ninth.


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M. Hirvonen / J. Lehtinen

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E. Evans / D. Barritt

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E. Evans / D. Barritt
Hirvonen and co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen may have been victorious at the event’s 2009 edition, but the Finns struggled to settle into a good rhythm over yesterday’s opening speed tests. Their woes continued into the second day as the M-Sport man lacked confidence in his pacenotes which he admitted were a scale too slow for the quick-paced roads.

His uncharacteristic misjudgement cost him dearly. At such high speeds any hesitation is detrimental and the Finn was forced to play catch up from the start. But determined as ever, the pairing’s experience shone through and they gained two places through a rutted SS6.

With the second pass of Kapciamiestis-Lithuania and Margionys-Lithuania (SS7 and SS8) cancelled due to deteriorating conditions, the duo had just SS9 and SS10 to regain their confidence. Despite lacking the rhythm his rivals had accumulated throughout the course of the morning, the Finn was happier with his performance albeit resolute on making further gains tomorrow.
In the sister M-Sport Fiesta RS WRC, Evans continued his development on what is the fastest event of his career. Contesting such high-speed stages for the first time the sheer speed came as an understandable surprise but he quickly found his feet with some encouraging progression to boot.

Having struggled to find their rhythm on yesterday’s opening stages Evans and co-driver Daniel Barritt looked much more controlled today. Delivering some promising stage times over the course of the morning, the pairing continued their progression into the afternoon – reducing the seconds per kilometre ratio and producing some highly competitive split times.

Mikko Hirvonen (7th) said:

“We were able to improve the pacenotes for this afternoon’s stage [SS9] and in places it was a lot better but I still lost too much time for my liking. There was one corner where I needed to slow down because of the dust and only two or three where I could have been faster so it was a bit strange.

“That’s how it is at the moment and we’re going to go through all of our onboard videos tonight to see if there is anything we can do for tomorrow.”

Elfyn Evans (9th) said:

“Today has been a lot better than yesterday. It’s been getting better and better all day and we’ve set some very encouraging split times which I’m pretty pleased with to be honest. I’m still lacking when it comes to putting a complete stage together so we’re going to work on that tomorrow and hopefully keep improving.”

Team Principal, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:

“It’s very uncharacteristic for Mikko [Hirvonen] to make a mistake during recce. The pacenote system which he has developed with Jarmo [Lehtinen, co-driver] is one of his key strengths, but if you misjudge the speed here then you are inevitably going to lose time. He knows his mistake and he'll spend some time going through all of the onboard videos tonight to alter the notes as much as he can. If he can do that, he should be on course to score some solid points.

“Elfyn [Evans] has had a much better day today and I think a lot of that was down to him relaxing and just enjoying the stages. To have your debut at an event as fast as this behind the wheel of a world rally car is no easy feat and he’s held his own. He’s set some solid times and some very impressive individuals splits; and he knows that the next step is to tie that all together over course of a full stage."

PaddockTalk Perspective

Also in WRC Rally News 2010:

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