Ford driver Mikko Hirvonen says his massive Rally Finland accident earlier this month won't slow him down on Rally Germany this week.
The Finn crashed out of his home round of the World Rally Championship while leading the Jyvaskyla event. Despite rolling his Ford Focus RS WRC five times in the near-100mph shunt, Hirvonen is already looking forward to the second asphalt encounter of the WRC season.
"I cocked up in Finland, that's all there is to it," said Hirvonen. "It's not going to slow me down or anything like that. The main thing is that in Finland we showed we had the speed. I want to get up there again and start fighting."
Hirvonen has never won an asphalt round of the series and admits that becoming the first man ever to beat Sebastien Loeb on the stages around Trier is a tough proposition this week.
"I have a love/hate relationship with this rally," said Hirvonen. "When it's dry the stages are really nice to drive but when the conditions are wet it makes the roads very tricky with all the mud and water around.
"Of all the three different characteristics we see in Germany, I prefer the vineyards. We have fantastic grip, the stages are not very technical and we can build up a really good rhythm because of the high speeds. The Baumholder stages are a unique challenge. The surface is changing all the time, it's very tricky and the road is bumpy, meaning that the right car setup is crucial.
"I was disappointed with the result in Finland but encouraged by our speed. With the all the improvements we've made, I'm looking forward to seeing what's possible. I want to be fighting for the podium."
Rally Germany starts from Trier tomorrow evening.