Mikko makes the most of truncated rally

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Mikko HIRVONEN has taken the overall lead in the Vodafone Rally de Portugal after the final three stages were cancelled on day two.

The Citroen driver took advantage after Ford’s Jari-Matti Latvala and Petter Solberg retired on stages five and six to move into first place, 36.3 seconds ahead of privateer Evgeny Novikov with Mads Ostberg in third. Thick fog and heavy rain meant the day’s rallying was cut short after organisers cancelled stages eight and nine due to safety reasons. The final stage had already been cancelled after a car became stuck in a water crossing.

“It was very, very foggy and very, very muddy as well,” Hirvonen said. “You cannot even believe how slowly we are driving.”