Hirvonen Eyes Monte Carlo Win in a Ford Fiesta S2000
Unlike in the WRC, Hirvonen will drive the newly-developed Ford Fiesta S2000 car during the Monte Carlo event, which will mark the season opener in the International Rally Challenge. He will not be the only driver competing on a Fiesta for M-Sport, as the British team will also field regular IRC contender Julien Maurin in the Principality.
In addition to improving his racing skills on asphalt – where he is still to win a WRC event ahead of Sebastien Loeb – Hirvonen will also help M-Sport further develop its Fiesta S2000 car ahead of its maiden campaign in world rallying.
“I've always had a difficult relationship with this rally. I love the rally when I am not competing on it but when you get there and the conditions are hard then it can be tough. But it's a great challenge and has a long history so it's very important to win this rally,” said Hirvonen, prior to this weekend's Monte Carlo event.
“The Fiesta Super 2000 is a new car but I've had a good feeling with it when we have tested on tarmac so I hope we can develop it more and try to win. But I know my rivals have a lot of experience in their cars and did Monte Carlo last year so that will help them,” added the Finn, who's best classification in Monte Carlo was a runner-up spot in the 2008 WRC event.
Since then, the Principality has left the WRC series for good and has become a regular round in the IRC.