Snow will still be a menace when the St Bonnet stage is repeated this afternoon, Monte Carlo Rally leader Mikko Hirvonen has warned.
Hirvonen, making his Intercontinental Rally Challenge debut in an M-Sport Fiesta S2000, holds an advantage of 1m08.5s after today’s opening
loop of stages.
The Finn said: “The conditions on the stage this afternoon will still be difficult because the temperatures won’t be warm enough to clear the snow and the passage of the cars has made the surface more polished.”
Despite leading the rally, Hirvonen hasn’t enjoyed an entirely trouble-free run thanks to a front-left puncture six kilometres from the end of the St Bonnet stage.
“We hit a rock in a snow bank that we couldn’t see,” said Hirvonen, who made up for the disappointment of losing some 40 seconds by going quickest on the final stage of the loop. “I’m driving within myself apart from the last stage when I pushed really hard to make up for the lost time.”