Hirvonen claims maiden victory
Finland's Mikko Hirvonen claimed his first World Rally Championship victory for the factory Citroen team by winning Rally Italia Sardegna.
Hirvonen was carrying Citroen's hopes after nine-time champion Sebastien Loeb crashed out on Friday's opening stage and sealed second place in the drivers' standings.
The victory was Hirvonen's 15th of his career and first in Sardinia after finishing runner-up five times.
"It feels really, really good," said Hirvonen said on www.wrc.com. "This was the goal we had before the rally and finally everything worked well.
"I've been five times second here and to finally win the rally I'm really pleased with that."
Russia's Evgeny Novikov claimed second place, one minute 20.6 seconds behind Hirvonen, with M-Sport team-mate Ott Tanak of Estonia completing the podium.