WRC: Ford driver Mikko Hirvonen trying to make up lost ground at Rally Argentina
Last Updated: 08/05/14 12:19pm
Mikko Hirvonen: Hopes his turnaround continues at Rally Argentina
Mikko Hirvonen says a podium finish is the "minimum objective" at the Rally Argentina after a disappointing start to the World Rally Championship season.
Hirvonen is 65 points adrift of reigning champion Sebastian Ogier, who beat the Finn into second place at the last round in Portugal.
That result represented a step forward for Hirvonen, who is well off the pace after taking just 18 points from the first three rounds.
But M-Sport Ford's Hirvonen knows Ogier has never won in Argentina and is eager to deny his rival the chance to clinch his fourth victory of the current season by breaking his own duck in Cordoba.
"We were really happy with the result in Portugal, and we'll be hoping for a bit more in Argentina," Hirvonen told the WRC's official website.
"When everything is working well, we know that we have the car and the pace to be challenging at the top, and that is what we will be aiming for.
"It's a tough event - even to be in the fight for the podium - but we will definitely be going all-out to do that.
"We want to be battling for the top positions. That is the minimum objective, but we also know that we will have to work hard to achieve it."
Ogier leads the standings on 91 points with Jari-Matti Latvala - Ogier's team-mate at Volkswagen Motorsport - 29 points behind. Latvala's hopes of success in Portugal were ended by a crash and he is keen to enjoy a smoother ride in Cordoba.
He said: "The rally suits my driving style, but is not easy. If you're not careful, you can hit a large stone as soon as you push yourself to the limit - particularly on the second loop.
"As such, you always have to give yourself a little breathing space, in order to be able to react quickly if necessary.
"I would be very happy with a podium finish. We did not have the best of times in Portugal. The key now is not to make any more mistakes and perform as consistently as we did at the first three rallies of the year."