Hirvonen named Rally Australia winner after late-night hearing
BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team drivers Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen have been named as winners of Rally Australia following a post-event hearing that imposed a one minute penalty on the Citroen C4 cars that filled three of the top four places.

The stewards of this 10th round of the FIA World Rally Championship received a post-event scrutineering report from the FIA Technical Delegate which stated that the front anti-roll bar link on the car of Sébastien Loeb did not comply with the homologation form of the car. Citroen agreed that the part was different from the homologation photograph, and confirmed that the cars of Dani Sordo and Sébastien Ogier were also fitted with identical parts.

The stewards imposed a one minute penalty on all three cars, promoting the Ford Focus RS World Rally Car of Hirvonen and co-driver Jarmo Lehtinen from second to first, and that of team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala from fifth to fourth.

It means that Hirvonen will start the penultimate round of the series in Spain next month with a five point lead in the drivers' standings over Loeb, while second-placed Ford has reduced the gap in the manufacturers' standings to 13 points.

"It's a shame that after such a thrilling battle for three days the result of the rally is decided in the stewards' room," said 29-year-old Hirvonen. "I suffered a points loss in Portugal two years ago, so I know how Sébastien, in particular, must feel tonight. This decision has a major effect on the championship standings and we now go to Spain with a five point lead."

Revised final positions
1. M Hirvonen/J Lehtinen FIN Ford Focus RS 2hr 53min 06.5sec
2. S Loeb/D Elena FRA Citroen C4 2hr 53min 54.0sec
3. D Sordo/M Marti ESP Citroen C4 2hr 54min 11.1sec
4. J-M Latvala/M Anttila FIN Ford Focus RS 2hr 54min 58.5sec
5. S Ogier/J Ingrassia FRA Citroen C4 2hr 55min 29.8sec
6. M Wilson/S Martin GBR Ford Focus RS 2hr 58min 32.8sec
7. H Solberg/C Menkerud NOR Ford Focus RS 3hr 00min 24.3sec
8. F Villagra/J Perez Companc ARG Ford Focus RS 3hr 00min 45.9sec
9. H Paddon/J Kennard NZL Mitsubishi Lancer 3hr 08min 42.6sec
10 M Prokop/J Tomanek CZE Mitsubishi Lancer 3hr 08min 51.2sec

1. M Hirvonen 78pts
2. S Loeb 73pts
3. D Sordo 50pts
4. J-M Latvala 36pts
5. H Solberg 29pts
6. P Solberg 25pts

1. Citroen Total 133pts
2. BP Ford Abu Dhabi 120pts
3. Stobart VK M-Sport Ford 69pts
4. Citroen Junior 37pts
5. Munchi's Ford 21pts

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