Hirvonen reveals pacenote challenge on ERC Cyprus Rally
Mikko Hirvonen says committing to his pacenotes is proving tough on his Cyprus return, his first appearance in the FIA European Rally Championship since 2002.
Hirvonen is sixth after four stages on what he’s treating as a “just for fun” outing in an MM-Motorsport Ford Fiesta R5.
“It’s been alright but I didn’t really have a good rhythm in stage two and three because I haven’t been driving in these kind of conditions for a long time,” said the ex-World Rally Championship factory driver, 39. “I lost the brakes for a few stages but in the end they came back a little bit.
“In [stage] rallying it’s more intense [than the Dakar] because you know every corner with the pacenotes and you are attacking a lot harder than on the Dakar. My pacenotes are fine but I am not committed enough – they would work fine but when the rhythm is changing, I am still doubting a little bit how fast I can go and how hard I can attack. For sure the driving is not exactly like it was 10 years ago, sorry, no five years ago, let’s not talk like it was too long ago!”.