Quadruple world rally champion Tommi Makinen believes Mikko Hirvonen’s maturity behind the wheel will be enough for the 29-year-old from Finland to win his first Monte Carlo Rally, and claim a debut victory in the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.
Makinen, a four-time winner
of the legendary event, believes his countryman has what it takes to maintain his 47.7-second advantage with five stages still left to run before the finish in Monaco in the early hours of Saturday morning.
“It’s a very, very tough rally, especially in these kinds of weather conditions where it is always changing,” said Makinen, who set up his own rally team when he retired from driving at the end of 2003. “You don’t know how many slippery corners with snow and ice you will face so it is very, very complicated. But Mikko has a good lead, he doesn’t need to push, and because he is a professional driver, he knows how to behave in this kind of condition.”