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Hirvonen and Lehtinen won the Rally Finnskog in Citroen's DS3 WRC and are relishing the Rally Sweden event.
Bristol Street Motors

Citroen Ds3 beats snow and ice to win 2012 Rally Finnskog

Citroen Ds3 beats snow and ice to win 2012 Rally Finnskog

The Citroen World Rally Championship (WRC) team is looking forward to the second stage of this year's season following its success at the Rally Finnskog.

Mikko Hirvonen, the team's newest recruit, and team-mate Jarno Lehtinen warmed up perfectly for Rally Sweden 2012 with a win at the event.

To make the win all the more impressive, Hirvonen and Lehtinen, who are still getting used to the Citroen Ds3 WRC, were forced to battle snow, ice and temperatures of around -30 degrees Celsius.

The pair were also the first out onto the road, giving them little in the way of comparison.

However, in a result that will impress both the team boss and Citroen fans, the new pairing finished some 30.5 seconds ahead of their nearest rivals.

Hirvonen explained that the further they pushed the Ds3, the better it performed.

"Our feeling with the car improved the further we went. Going first meant we had to clear the fine layer of snow covering the frozen ice. We thought that the conditions would be better on the second runs, but they actually turned out to be more difficult due to the other competitors having completed their runs," he explained.

"We are very happy to have won, and especially to have beaten the other WRCs competing here. This has confirmed that we found the right set-up in testing."

With the pair set to face similar conditions in Sweden, Hirvonen could be set to give fellow Citroen ace Sebastian Loeb a run for his money in just the second stage of the 2012 season.

Loeb won the season-opener in Monte Carlo - his sixth win on the circuit - and is looking to lift the WRC crown for the ninth time.

However, with Hirvonen, one of his closest rivals last year, now behind the wheel of the Ds3, the competition could be much fiercer this year.

Posted by Louise Clark