Simoncelli joins Hirvonen in WRC car
27 September 2011 – A MotoGP star met a World Rally star as Marco Simoncelli and Mikko Hirvonen gathered for a special test at Carlisle Airfield in Cumbria. The event, organised by Castrol, was a joint occasion for the Gresini Honda and Ford Abu Dhabi teams.
Fresh from his victory in Rally Australia, Hirvonen was on-hand to provide rally-driving tips to Simoncelli, who is currently placed eighth in the MotoGP standings; the Italian piloted the Ford Fiesta WRC for approximately 50 kilometers (31 miles).
Afterwards, both Hirvonen and World Superbike rider Jonathan Rea were treated to special blasts through a forest stage with Hirvonen at the wheel, before going behind the scenes at the Dovenby Hall-based Ford team’s facility.
“It’s an honour to be invited to drive a car like this,” Simoncelli commented. “It took me a little while to get used to it but it’s incredibly well-balanced once you get the feel of the controls. It’s always useful to share race experience and technical knowledge with other drivers and riders and I’ve learned a lot today from Mikko and the team.”