Mikko Hirvonen Loses Four Minutes To Leading Loeb

Mikko Hirvonen (Photo Credit: World Rally Pics)
Mikko Hirvonen (Photo Credit: World Rally Pics)

Mikko Hirvonen has lost nearly four minutes after stopping with a problem on the seventh stage of Wales Rally GB.

The Finn lead the event had taken the lead after the previous stage – the first run through the Dyfi East stage – and was leading his championship rival Sebastien Loeb by just 0.4 seconds.

However, reports indicate Hirvonen stopped 10km into the 21km Dyfnant stage reportedly with damaged suspension and radiator on his Ford Fiesta WRC. He completed the stage, but lost 3:52 to stage winner Loeb and fell to 13th in the overall standings.

Hirvonen trails Loeb by eight points in the championship standings. The event in Wales is the final rally of 2011.

Loeb leads the rally from Hirvonen's Ford Abu Dhabi teammate JariMatti Latvala by 17.7 seconds. M-Sport Stobart driver Mads Ostberg is third ahead of Solberg brothers Petter and Henning.

Kris Meeke, who had started SS7 in sixth overall also lost time – 2:31 – on the stage, falling to eleventh. Sebastien Ogier, in the sister Citroen DS3 to Loeb, crashed out on the opening stage, spinning into a wall less than 2km from the start. MINI's Dani Sordo crashed out on stage five.