Pirelli Shod Hirvonen Ford Takes Monte Carlo Rally Honours
Pirelli celebrated a first place finish at the weekend’s Monte Carlo Rally with partner Ford and driver Mikko Hirvonen following a successful debut of the Ford Fiesta Super 2000, the only car officially fitted by Pirelli in the event. Leading from the start, Pirelli says the Finnish rally star was able to easily overcome the challenges of changing road conditions in his Ford Fiesta Super 2000 thanks to the Winter Sottozero and P Zero tyres it was fitted with – tyres capable of adapting to all the conditions encountered, from the ice in the mountain passes to the dry coastal asphalt.
Finnish-born Hirvonen – the 2009 World WRC Vice-Champion – completed the rally with an overall time of 4h32′58″5, outpacing the Skoda Fabias of his compatriot Juho Hanninen and Frenchman Nicolas Vouilloz, respectively 1’51’’4 and 3’19’’1 behind.
“It was a special return for Pirelli to Monte Carlo”, said Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s motorsport director. “We had only one official entry for the event, but that proved sufficient as it was the winning combination of the debuting Ford Fiesta S2000 together with Ford official works driver Mikko Hirvonen. Our P Zero and Sottozero tyres performed perfectly in the cold, snow and ice conditions of this classic Monte Carlo event. Of course we were also competing against rival tyre manufacturers, but our product technology proved superior with Mikko barely troubled, in the lead from start to finish. We now turn our attention to the first WRC event of the season, in Sweden, where as the official supplier, we will again demonstrate the superior Arctic performance of the Pirelli Sottozero.”