Hirvonen has only managed one rostrum so far this season, when he was second in Portugal, but has a good record ‘Down Under’.
Indeed he took his first WRC victory in Australia back in 2006, while he was third last year and also won it in 2011 and 2009. He will now be keen to challenge at the head of the field again next week.
“This rally has always been a good event for us,” Hirvonen said in the countdown to the tenth round in the World Rally Championship. “In 2006 we claimed our first WRC win in Australia, so it will always hold a lot of amazing memories for me.
“We have occasionally been lucky, but the stages are fantastic to drive and some of them have a very similar character to those in Finland – it almost feels like being back at home sometimes!”
“The stages are generally pretty fast, but there is a good mix of slower sections through the forests. It’s the nature of the gravel which is tricky here. It’s pretty loose so road position can be very important. If it rains, it’s unbelievably slippery, and if it’s dry, it can be really dusty. There’s a challenge no matter what the conditions, but more than anything it’s just flat-out enjoyment!” he added.
“We’ll definitely be looking towards the podium next week. There’s no reason why we can’t achieve that and I can’t wait to get out there and experience the stages again.”