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2014 Rally Italia in pictures

2014 WRC Rally Italia

You may have noticed our WRC coverage has dropped off the radar for a bit, well in a mad panic before this weekend’s Rally Finland we’re going to bring you back up to speed. First, let’s take a look at Rally Italia, where we have assembled over 75 images from the four major teams for you to enjoy.

Sebastien Ogier won in Italy, extending his championship lead to 33 points over his Volkswagen teammate Jari-Matti Latvala. You may also recall this was the rally where Mikko Hirvonen’s backside got a bit hot.

2014 WRC Rally Italia

  1. Sebastien Ogier Volkswagen Polo R WRC – 4:02:37.8
  2. Mads Ostberg Citroën DS3 WRC – +1:23.1
  3. Jari-Matti Latvala Volkswagen Polo R WRC – +1:32.8
Ford WRC

That’s one expensive barbecue!

Mikko Hirvonen, 2014 WRC Rally Italia

M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson has revealed the cost of Mikko Hirvonen’s burnt out Fiesta RS WRC is beyond £400,000 (AU$718,000).

“The financial implications to replace it are huge,” Wilson told “You’re looking in excess of £400,000 and we don’t insure the rally cars, so that’s a big hit.

“If you have a big crash then nearly all the mechanical components are usually OK. But with what happened here, there is absolutely nothing we can reuse. Everything is destroyed and it’s a big loss.”

M-Sport wants to investigate the cause of the blaze, but due to the severity of the damage the team isn’t sure if the wreckage will hold any answers.

“We’ll take the car back to the UK but it will be difficult to identify anything,” added Wilson. “Unless something like the propshaft has broken and gone through the fuel tank. Then it will be pretty obvious, even though the car is destroyed.”

[Source: WRC]

Ford WRC

Mikko Hirvonen lights my fire

Mikko Hirvonen, 2014 WRC Rally Italia

Mikko Hirvonen’s Rally Italia came to an abrupt and fiery end last night after his M-Sport Ford Fiesta RS WRC became engulfed in flames during a liaison stage.

The Finn started the rally well, leading the event after Thursday night’s special stage. He had slipped just out of the top five the following day as the rally began to hit its straps and it was between SS3 and SS4 where things really went south for Hirvonen.

“I have no idea what happened and I don’t think we are ever going to find out,” a bemused Hirvonen explained. “It was really strange. Straight after the stage [SS3] everything was OK and operating as it should. We stopped, took our HANS and helmet off, checked all the tyre pressures, had the usual look around the car and everything was fine.

“After we set off again, the car caught fire. We smelt the smoke and as I looked back the rear-right corner was covered in flames. We stopped straight away but they were already over the roof. I managed to empty three fire extinguishers but it didn’t do anything to calm the blaze. There was nothing we could do to save the car.”

Thankfully, Hirvonen and co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen were able to escape without injury. Team boss Malcolm Wilson says he is keen to find the cause of the fire.

“Obviously we’re all relieved that Mikko and Jarmo are both OK after today,” Wilson said. “The car has been completely destroyed and there is nothing to be rescued which is a big blow to the team.

“We’re still waiting to get the car back, but having spoken with Mikko it seems to have started somewhere towards the right-rear wheel which is something we do not really understand.

“There’ll be a thorough investigation back at Dovenby Hall to work out exactly what happened.”

A short video can be seen after the break.

[Pics: @carlrue & @andrespocoyo]