Mikko Hirvonen's first taste of loose-surface competition in the Citroen DS3 WRC will come on Rally Finnskog in Norway early next month. The Finn will drive the Feb. 4 snow rally as part of his pre-event preparation for Rally Sweden, an event Hirvonen himself admits brings more pressure than the season-opening Monte Carlo Rally.
Hirvonen said: "In Sweden, maybe there's going to be more [pressure] there. The team is expecting good feedback from me with the car and some good speed when we do get there.
"From what I have done in the car, I feel very good about things. I think maybe there could be a surprise for everybody about what we can do."
Citroen has contested pre-Sweden snow rallies regularly in the past, with Sebastien Ogier and Dani Sordo tackling the Arctic Rally in previous years. The French team's record on Rally Sweden isn't its strongest, having won the event only once – with Sebastien Loeb – in 2004.
IRC champion Andreas Mikkelsen (Skoda) and Craig Breen (Ford Fiesta S2000) are the other highlights of the entry list for the Norwegian Championship round.