Mikko Hirvonen’s Rally Italia Sardegna came to a fiery and spectacular end this morning as he and co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen drove to the fourth stage.
The M-Sport World Rally Team duo were looking to progress from their sixth place overall at the 20.29km ‘Coiluna-Crastazza 1’ stage, but after stopping to change the tyres on their Ford Fiesta RS WRC, the 2012 Rally Italia winners noticed flames licking up from the rear of their car as they get back underway to travel to the stage start.
They quickly stopped the car to inspect the problem, but the flames quickly took hold. They tried to use their fire extinguishers but their efforts were in vain. The car was destroyed in minutes.
|The flaming Ford Fiesta RS of Mikko Hirvonen. (Photo: WRC)|
Mikko Hirvonen said he was confused by what caused the fire. “We changed the tyres and checked the pressures as normal between stages and everything was okay," he explained. "But then the car caught fire for no reason. When I was fighting the fire, the rear bumper was fine and sometimes that can break and catch on the exhaust which causes a fire. It’s strange.”
M-Sport has said it plans to establish the cause of the fire when the car returns to the service park in Alghero later today.