Mikko Hirvonen has said his crash on Rally Finland was the biggest of his career – the Finn having rolled his Ford Focus RS WRC out of the lead of his home World Rally Championship round this morning.
Hirvonen crashed on the second run through Urria when his Focus turned right after a jump and hit a bank at close to 100mph. There had been speculation that Finn was suffering from a power steering problem on his car, but Hirvonen denied the shunt was related to any kind of technical issue.
"It was the biggest accident, I have never had one like that before," he said. "It's so disappointing. We had a heavy landing and the car just shot straight off the road. It landed nicely in the middle of the road, but we went straight off.
"There was nothing we could do. We had some steering lock on, but you had to have because we are flying sideways, but it pulled the car straight off the road. There was no problem with the car at all, it sometimes goes a bit stiff on the heavy landing, but there was nothing wrong with the car."
Hirvonen's crash came on one of his favorite parts of the Rally Finland route – and he admitted he remained mystified as to the reason.
"Where I went off is the place in the whole world where I like to drive the most," he said. "There were lots of people watching and they said there was nothing different from last year.
"We then went straight to the bank and rolled, it rolled for a long time – all the way up the hill. I was surprised at the way the car pulled so violently on the landing. We were going at 140km/h or something like that – but the speed wasn't too much. If the speed was too much we would fly to the bank.
"I knew when it landed that was it, the rally was over. We were both OK, but quite dizzy from the actual roll."