''All is possible and it is all in my hands''
Mikko Hirvonen has several reasons to be proud of his Rally Poland victory: not only did he win a very high-speed and tricky gravel event thanks to a flawless performance, the Finn also took over the lead in the drivers' standings
– even if only by a single point.
"This is the first time ever that I win two rallies in a row," said the Ford World Rally Team driver. "Maybe I can make it three in Finland."
When title rival Sebastien Loeb
crashed his Citroen on Poland's fourth stage, Hirvonen thought the remainder of the rally might turn out to be a paced affair. However, aboard the remaining Citroen team car, Dani Sordo had other ambitions.
Third on the leaderboard, Sordo began applying heavy pressure on second-placed Ford driver Jari-Matti Latvala, who in turn was forced to drive hard in order to keep ahead of the Spaniard. Only a few seconds away and leading the rally, Hirvonen had no choice but to push very strongly as well to keep his advantage.
"It was a fantastic rally from start to finish," Hirvonen declared. "When Seb made a mistake it could easily have turned into one steady rally. Then Sordo was setting some amazing times on Saturday and we were flat-out all Saturday. It is fantastic to get it right and take the win."
The Finn was racing so hard at one point that he informed his co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen that taking in the pace notes being called out was no longer possible.
"I was concerned after he told me he wasn't listening!" Lehtinen said. "I have to admit this is one of the most difficult rallies I have done. Timing the pace notes is very difficult here. You are going so fast that you need to concentrate hard."
"It was very challenging," the co-driver added. "This event has gone straight into the top three in my mind for all rallies."
With the next round of the World Rally Championship taking place before his home crowd in Finland, Mikko Hirvonen hopes to score a third consecutive win this year.
Not so long ago Loeb's streak of victories had Hirvonen thinking the championship was slipping away from him. But today, standing in the lead with only a point separating him from the five-time champion, the Ford driver knows he has to be perfect from now on.
"All is possible and it is all in my hands. If I have perfect rallies, then I get good results and I can fight for the title," he stated.
"It will be very difficult, but I will try as hard as I can," Hirvonen promised.