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Rally Norway 2007

An eventful inaugural Rally Norway sees Mikko Hirvonen beat the best in the world, leading right from the start....

Finn Mikko Hirvonen clinched his second ever WRC win leading home a BP-Ford one-two, and a Ford 1-2-3, the first since 1979.

Last week's Rally Sweden winner, and now Drivers' Championship leader, Marcus Gronholm came in just 9.5 seconds behind.

Of his achievement, Hirvonen said: "Sébastien and Marcus are the fastest in the world and now I have beaten them after leading the rally since Friday. Today was a bit difficult, but the rest was good; there was a good rhythm. It’s not easy, but when you have a good rhythm you just enjoy it. Maybe the rally being new did help a little bit, but before the rally I didn’t expect it to make any difference. Everybody has experience of pace notes. I think the pressure was Friday and Saturday. Sébastien and Marcus pushed as hard as they can, but everything just worked perfectly for me."

Gronholm was also full of praise for his BP-Ford team-mate:"I know he (Mikko) is quick and he had a good start on the first stage. Then he kept the same speed and we were just losing all of the time a little bit. It was a good rally for Mikko. I don’t exactly know why (we weren’t quicker); I don’t have any ideas. It’s a new rally like you mentioned, maybe it was that. I was never 100 per cent confident with the notes and driving. I was not in the attacking mood. I was in the safe side a little bit, all the credit to Mikko, though."

Local hero and third placed Henning Solberg was positive about the new Rally Norway: "I am very proud. I think the whole rally has been great, but like Timo says, some roads can be changed, but that is small problems. For us it’s very important and for the whole Championship it’s really important to have two winter rallies. It’s easy and good for the tyre manufacturers to come straight here from Sweden. Yeah, it’s good."

Current World Champion Sebastien Loeb had a disasterous rally, crashing into a snowbank during Stage 12 losing him more than 8 minutes. He eventually finished,  out of the points, in 14th position, pushing him down to below both Gronholm and Hirvonen in the Championship table.

Result:

 

 1

 M Hirvonen

 Fin

 Ford

 3h 28m 17s

 2

 M Gronholm

 Fin

 Ford

 +9.5secs

 3

 H Solberg

 Nor

 Ford

 +3:44

 4

 P Solberg

 Nor

 Subaru

 +4:01

 5

 J-M Latvala

 Fin

 Ford

 +5:30

 6

 G Galli

 Ita

 Citroen

 +7:05 

 7

 D Carlsson

 Swe

 Citroen

 +9:23

 8

 J Kopecky

 Cze

 Skoda

 +11:49 

 9

 R Dalsjoe

 Nor

 Subaru

 +13:31 

 10

 A Mikkelsen

 Nor

 Ford

 +14:28



 

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