Hirvonen wins Monte season opener

Mikko Hirvonen has given M-Sport's Ford Fiesta S2000 a debut victory on the opening round of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge, the 78th Automobile Rallye Monte-Carlo, which finished in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Kris Meeke had a fantatstic start however it all came to nothing on the first stage of day two when he went off on some slushy ice with black ice hidden underneath. He had done his major breaking into the bend but just came off the brakes a bit too early suffering a heavy impact on a right hander into a bridge.

Guys Wilks faired better finishing 6th overall on a very wintery event, despite having a spin on SS4 and losing time.

Most of the event was televised live on Europsort and coverage from in-car and from helicopter - all 14 hours of it.......absolutely stunning.

1 Mikko Hirvonen/Jarmo Lehtinen Ford Fiesta S2000 4h32m58.5s
2 Juho Hanninen/Mikko Markkula Skoda Fabia S2000 +1m51.4s
3 Nicolas Vouilloz/Benjamin Veillas Skoda Fabia S2000 +3m19.1s
4 Stephane Sarrazin/Jacques Julien Renucci Peugeot 207 S2000 +7m25.5s
5 Jan Kopecky/Petr Stary Skoda Fabia S2000 +8m48.7s
6 Guy Wilks/Phil Pugh Skoda Fabia S2000 +9m24.5s
7 Bruno Magalhaes/Carlos Magalhaes Peugeot 207 S2000 +9m45.4s
8 Jean-Sebastien Vigion/Stephane Prevot Peugeot 207 S2000 +13m33.5s
9 Jaroslav Orsak/Karel Vajik Skoda Fabia S2000 +21m16.6s
10 Andrej Jereb/Miran Kacin Peugeot 207 S2000 +25m26.1s

23rd January, 2010