• Jul 23, 2010
Mikko Hirvonen and his 2010 Ford Focus RS WRC – Click above to watch video after the jump

Our collective blogging heart goes out to Mikko Hirvonen. It's a shame to see a driver with galaxies worth of talent constantly banished to the lower rungs of the podium by the likes of Sebastien Loeb. Perpetually optimistic, the Finnish hoon seems to be a rarity among the racing driver species. Even in the face of repeated defeat, the guy typically keeps his cool and hopes for the best. That doesn't necessarily mean he's content to sit back and watch Citroën continue to dominate the WRC and Hirvonen has been beating the life out of his Focus RS racer in preparation for the upcoming Finland Rally.

Fortunately for us, a video of the testing action has made its way to the YouTubes, complete with plenty of shots of the mean Blue Oval in defiance of the laws of gravity. At some point, if we're very lucky, we just might figure out how the guy manages to get that hatch to pivot mid-air. Click past the jump to waste a little time in the best way possible.

[Source: YouTube via WebRidesTV]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 26 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      kowabunga!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Im a bit tired of seeing Citroën dominate the field (per say). Im ready for Ford to start being more competitive. Come on Hirvonen...

      I would also like to see Ken Block be a bit more competitive. Im so happy America finally made it into the drivers seat, even though we usually end up in the last runnings.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Toyota might be making an announcement next month in regards to racing. It could very well be a WRC program or even a combined WRC and WTCC program, since they can use the WRC engine in the WTCC. I would expect a Toyota WRCar to debut in 2012 at the earliest

      VW might join in 2012 but they will become the next Suzuki and Hyundai in the WRC, and they will be lucky to be in the top 5, much less the podium. A podium or a win is possible for VW if all the other cars crash out :). Even the Mini Countryman will probably be more successful than a future VW WRCar.

      Maybe I've dranken some anti VW koolaid from someone who once briefly worked there, but VW hasn't made a successful rally car in the past in non WRC championships.

      Ouninpohja is an awesome stage. I saw the World Record where Petter Solberg drove his Subaru WRCar and he got the world record, and that was epic. A NASCAR driver couldn't last about 5 minutes in that stage. It definitely proves how brave rally drivers really are.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "At some point, if we're very lucky, we just might figure out how the guy manages to get that hatch to pivot mid-air."

      It's a matter of starting a turn before cresting the hill and having that turning momentum carry through while still in the air. It definitely takes lots of skill to put in the right amount of turn at the right time before leaving the ground to land at the right spot without going off the road! But the concept is simple.
        • 4 Years Ago
        yup, TOTALLY not intended for you MER but you are welcome anyways! :)
        • 4 Years Ago
        gee thanks.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The other fun fact is that the car will pivot around the center of gravity - knowing where that is on the car plays a huge role in the action. Something balance like a WRC car will spin somewhere close to the center of the car. A V8 power muscle car, somewhere around the firewall, and a Porsche 911 more around the rear seats. That 911 would be a fun one to watch someone try to do the same thing with.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I would like to know how would current WRC cars hold against class-B RS200.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @MacPherson

        Actually, RS200 with a minimum of upgrades (like present day tires, sequential gearbox and low inertia turbo) would beat any of the today's WRC cars, simply because it is significantly more powerful. In terms of rally car chassis design there is little we know today that it was not known in the 80's. In fact most would say that RS200 has a better chassis because it is midengined, whereas todays rally cars are front engined (and of course front heavy, which forces the engineers to cut significatly the cornering speed to make the suspensions setup able to cure the understeer).
        • 4 Years Ago
        Obviously. And that's exactly the reason why I'd like to see such comparo/fight/contest...
        • 4 Years Ago
        You know, this raises a really good point. Maybe the FIA should consider opening a Prototype class for WRC. Seeing what guys like Monster and Millen are doing at Pike's Peak, I'd have to imagine things could get pretty interesting in the rally world with Prototypes running. I mean, I'm a die-hard rally fan and I love the real-world aspect, but I still think it would be great to get things back to the way they were in the 80's.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have a PROFOUND respect for the drivers, navigators, engineers, mechanics, and teams in WRC (and rally in general). Rally is a fine art, really.

      BTW I really love these types of videos - raw footage from enthusiastic fans with NO announcers. Please post this stuff more, more more more.
        • 4 Years Ago
        ignore this if you already know but there's surprising amount of decent quality onboard footage from WRC on YouTube ("hirvonnen onboard" etc.)
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have always been a fan of Hirvonen. I'll cheer for anyone but to see Leob win again and again. And to be fair, all WRC drivers seem perfectly calm and nonchalant when they are outside the car. The only time you see them flustered is in car when the co-driver screws up the notes or after a crash.

      WRC is so sad with only two manufacturers. I wish we could see Subaru, Mitsu, Peugeot and Toyota again.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Should be all change next year with the new S2000 rules, I think a lot of new teams are waiting in the wings for that.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree. Maybe it'll pick up when there's an upswing in the world economy.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's videos like these that make me wish I lived in Europe.
        • 4 Years Ago
        • 4 Years Ago
        Wow Mer, making all kinds of friends...
        • 4 Years Ago
        agreed, we just nascar...
        • 4 Years Ago
        nothing stops you from doing it here. too bad no one even knows, let alone bothers to watch american rally. ANY car doing stupid speed through a forest is cool, in fact it's cooler when it's not a factor program...at most US rallies you can pretty much walk into the garages, get a good look at the cars, and chat with the mechanics and drivers. But fine, go to europe, we don't want you here.
        • 4 Years Ago
        MER - you were a bit harsh. I think what was meant to be derive from Jason's comment is the coverage of other forms of motorsport. DTM, WTCC, BTCC, WRC, IRC, FIA GT, Trucks, rally-cross and so forth. Unfortunately all we see on Speed is bunch of WT racing in straight line for pink slips
        • 4 Years Ago
        mer is right people complain about just getting nascar in america when there is alot of racing going on that no one cares to go look at
        • 4 Years Ago
        sorry for the bad grammar... I meant to say, I agree, all we get is nascar, and they just turn left (said 2 road courses) on banked tracks.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @MER

        Actually, I have been to several Rally America races, and I've loved every one of them. I just wish that there were more races closer to where I live so I don't have to drive 5+ hours to watch, and then 5+ hours back when the rally is over.

        My comment was made to show my disappointment for the US' motorsports fan base compared to Europe's. For a rally-america shakedown , there would be little to no fans on the stage (besides team members), and there are clearly a decent amount during this test. It seems like unless there is a ton of money involved, the majority of people in the US aren't interested.
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