SS17: Hirvonen admits he can’t catch Loeb
Finnish ace says gap to Citroen team-mate is too great
Mikko Hirvonen has all but given up on catching Sebastien Loeb in the battle for victory on Rally Guanajuato Mexico after he completed the first run through the Comanjilla stage trailing his Citroen team-mate by almost 35 seconds in the overall classification.
Hirvonen, who was six seconds slower than Loeb through the stage, said: “We’re maintaining our position, there is no need to have a big push and Jari-Matti [Latvala] is so far behind. Sebastien has been a little bit faster than me and he’s so far ahead that even if I take massive risks I couldn’t catch him by driving. The most important thing is to finish the rally and keep my position.”
Meanwhile, Latvala notched up his seventh stage win of the event by going fastest of all, 3.8s quicker than the time set by his Ford team-mate Petter Solberg. Mads Ostberg was fifth fastest with Ott Tanak next up.
Thierry Neuville was 10th fastest despite running at the head of the field and having to clean the road of the loose surface gravel.
“There was a lot of loose gravel again but I enjoyed this stage and the car worked very well,” said the Citroen Junior ace. “The only disappointment is we have to clean the road because yesterday we lost everything but we can come back better for the future.”
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