Hirvonen stripped of win
Mikko Hirvonen has been stripped of his Rally of Portugal victory after the clutch on his Citroen car was deemed to be illegal.
Last Updated: 02/04/12 4:35pm
Mikko Hirvonen has been stripped of his victory in the Rally of Portugal after the clutch on his Citroen car was deemed to be illegal.
The disqualification hands the win to Ford's Mads Ostberg, who was left to celebrate his maiden victory in the World Rally Championship.
Hirvonen had finished the event 1 minute 51.8 seconds ahead of Norway's Ostberg to climb to the top of the drivers' championship standings.
But stewards subsequently deemed that his car's clutch did not conform to technical regulations and he was disqualified from the event.
A Citroen spokesman said that the team admitted the infringement but believe the punishment was "disproportionate" and would appeal as a result.
The result means that both factory Citroens failed to score while the leading factory Ford was Petter Solberg in third, meaning eight-time champion Sebastien Loeb holds on to the lead in the points standings.