Mikko Hirvonen gave Ford’s new Fiesta S2000 victory at Rally Monte Carlo this weekend on the car’s competitive debut.
Hirvonen took time off from being Ford’s lead driver in the World Rally Championship to finish almost two minutes ahead of the nearest challenger.
The M-Sport-run Fiesta will replace the Focus as Ford’s works WRC car from 2011 and Hirvonen ensured it got off to the strongest possible start by leading the rally from the second stage to the finish in a near-faultless drive.
“It's one of the most legendary rallies there is, with a long history,” said Hirvonen. “It’s never an easy rally to win because the conditions are very difficult, as they were again this year. I’m really happy we managed to win.
“It’s more special because the boys have worked really hard in the last few weeks and we managed to get a good result thanks to the whole package. We are all really happy.”
Reigning IRC champion Kris Meeke crashed out of the rally on Thursday while in second place after slipping on ice. F1 driver Robert Kubica was also forced out of the rally early on with technical problems.
1. Mikko Hirvonen Ford 4h32m58.5s2. Juho Hanninen Skoda +1m51.4s3. Nicolas Vouilloz Skoda +3m19.1s4. Stephane Sarrazin Peugeot +7m25.5s5. Jan Kopecky Skoda +8m48.7s6. Guy Wilks Skoda +9m24.5s7. Bruno Magalhaes Peugeot +9m45.4s8. Jean-Sebastien Vigion Peugeot +13m33.5s9. Jaroslav Orsak Skoda +21m16.6s10. Andrej Jereb Peugeot +25m26.1s